NPA withholding Lekki port project fund – Official

Lekki Deep Seaport project

Acting Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession regulatory Commission (ICRC) has accused the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) of frustrating the development of the over $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport project following its failure to pay $110.9 million equity share for the project in full.

According to the ICRC boss, Engineer Chidi Izuwah, the Lagos State Government has paid up its 18.15 per cent equity while NPA only paid $23 million out of the $110.9 million of its equity, which is 20 per cent.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos recently, Izuwah stated that the Lekki deep seaport project site is in compliance with Section 20 of the ICRC Act 2005, which empowers the Commission to monitor compliance and ensure efficient execution of all nationwide ‘PPP’ projects.

“We are here as part of the commission’s 2017/2018 monitoring programme to assess the level of progress made in implementing this project as well as compliance with terms and conditions of the contract agreement signed by all parties,” he said.

Izuwah commended the management of Lekki port for the progress recorded so far on the project and for choosing qualified and credible technical partners to work with them on the project, urging the company to ensure timely completion of the project.

While describing the magnitude of the Lekki deep seaport project, the General Manager, Projects, of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), Steven Heukelom, noted that upon completion, the port would be one of the deepest in West Africa with 16.5-meter water depth and one of the most modern, efficient ports in sub-Saharan Africa with capacity to berth larger vessels thereby making Lagos the trans-shipment hub in West Africa.

“We are working tirelessly in conjunction with China Harbour Engineering Company to deliver a port, which will be a state-of-the-art, model deep seaport, not only in Nigeria but in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

Lekki deep seaport is a tripartite project of the promoter, LPEL, NPA and the Lagos State Government. The equities in the seaport included 20 per cent for the Federal Government through the NPA; 18.15 per cent for Lagos State government; and 61.85 per cent for the lead promoter of the project, LPEL.

The project is expected to create about 169,972 direct and indirect jobs and generate revenue worth $190 billion to the state and federal agencies in form of taxes, royalties and duties. The Lagos State government has paid up its part of equity contribution to the project, which currently stands at 18.15 per cent while NPA has 20 per cent equity but has so far paid about $23 million out of the total commitment of $110.9 million.     

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