Nigeria has inaugurated a Chinese-funded deep sea port

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated the opening of a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded deep-water port in the commercial center of Lagos, which officials hope will help boost the West African nation’s struggling economy.

the Lekki Deep Water Port one of the biggest From West Africa will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in addition to the reduction traffic jam The Lagos governor on Monday said that cargoes, which cost billions of dollars in annual revenue, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The port, whose container terminal can handle at least 2.5 million standard 20-foot containers per year, will operate as a joint venture between the Nigerian government, Lagos State, the group. Tolaram based on Singapore and public company China Port Engineering Company. Both foreign companies have a 75% stake in the project.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, but its increase has been out of order for many years poor infrastructure and some mismanagement. Despite having six major seaports, more than 80% of the country’s imports are handled by just two ports in Lagos, which is plagued by congestion. huge loss of incomeshipments are often diverted to other West African countries.

Officials say a new deep-water port east of Lagos will divert traffic from congested ports and boost revenue. economic consequences is expected to be more than 360 billion dollars.

Experts say it will be just one “small difference” unless the existing pitfalls are overcome, especially by ensuring connections between ports and hinterlands.

“The connectivity to the rail network is poor and under-invested, and the roads are not in optimal condition”he said Ayotunde Abiodunthe firm’s economic analyst SBM Intelligence It is located in Lagos. Automation of processes in the port should also be prioritized.”

As the port became operational on Sunday with the arrival of its first commercial vessel, the Lagos governor said the vessels were docked at the port. “It could be up to four times larger than the ships currently docked at Tin Can and Apapa ports”The other two ports of Lagos.

according to Cui JianchunThe Chinese ambassador to Nigeria will be the driver of the project economic development not only for Lagos but for the entire country.

“It is the engine of the economy not only for the governor of Lagos but also for the Federal Republic of Nigeria”“, Jianchun said. “It’s an equity investment. It’s not a loan, it’s not a debt — it’s an investment.”

farming and trade They are the main drivers of Nigeria’s economy, but widespread insecurity in the country’s agriculturally rich north is on the wane foreign direct investment and endemic corruption Economic growth slowed amid declining crude oil revenues.

The government has turned to international lenders and financiers to help grow the economy through critical projects, including China, which has some of Nigeria’s most important infrastructure. railway networks and airport terminals.

A. of the port “great potential” for the struggling Nigerian economy unemployment rate 33% and a challenging economy, Abiodun said industry players need to work together to make this happen.

In the maritime sector, “There should be inter-agency communication on important issues affecting operators in the sector”– says Mr. Abiodun. “The more troubling problem has been that these agencies have focused on generating revenue rather than providing quality services. This must change.”

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