The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, on Saturday threatened to sanction the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for not meeting up with the contract of providing 85 per cent of the rail project cost.
Sambo made this known at the inspection of the Lekki Deep Seaport.
“The CCECC has not brought anything to the table, I gave them a deadline which is October 30. If I don’t get that money on the ground, I know what to advise Mr President to do,” he said.
Sambo, who expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Lekki Deep Seaport project, noted that initiatives were on the ground to ensure the smooth evacuation of cargo at the port.
“I am impressed and happy to be back here. This we know is the pride of all Nigerians: the first deep-sea port in West Africa that will take the largest ship in the world. It has 16.5 meters deep and will give us hundreds and thousands of jobs. Almost automated not fully but automated enough to make life easy for port operations.
“It is initiatives like this we want to encourage. That is why I did not hesitate when I came to the ministry and I saw a proposal of the Badagry Deep Seaport sitting on my table and I took it immediately for approval.
“Also, the President is concerned about cargo evacuation at the port and does not want a repeat of the Apapa and TinCan port and so we cannot rely on the road alone which is not the best option. There is a need to sit down with stakeholders to see how to tackle this,” he said.
“First of all, you save a lot of time at the port because of automation and modern technology and equipment. After the port what happens, it only makes sense when the goods get to the shipper or owner. And to do that, you need to move either by rail, water or road.”
Sambo urged the management of the port to employ as many Nigerians as possible as this was the only way citizens could put food on the table for their families.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, noted that the Lekki Deep Seaport would contribute in reducing the traffic gridlock in Apapa.
He said despite the Lekki port, Apapa and Tin Can ports remain viable.
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