Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), the promoter of the Lekki Deep Seaport has on Monday, announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the CMA CGM Group, a player in maritime transport, to operate Lekki Port’s container terminal at the completion of the port project.

The Lekki Deep Seaport project is being developed, built and operated by LPLE, a joint venture enterprise led by the Tolaram Group, the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

As the container terminal operator, CMA CGM, through its subsidiary CMA Terminals, will be responsible for marketing, operations and maintenance of the container terminal at Lekki Deep Seaport.

LPLE formerly has an agreement with the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTS) to operate the container terminal in Lekki Port, but the later renounced the intention to continue with the agreement, few years back, leaving the LPLE the option to seek new investor to operate the port terminal.

Lekki port, Nigeria’s first deep seaport, upon completion in 2020, will have two container berths. Upon completion, the container terminal will be equipped with a 1,200-meter-long quay as well as 13 quay cranes and will have capacity of 2.5 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). With the port’s 16-meter depth, it will allow the Group to deploy ships with capacity of up to 14,000 TEUs.

Speaking on the development, Navin Nahata, chief executive officer of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise, described the signing of the agreement with the CMA CGM Group as another step in the right direction towards the actualisation of the port, which would become the deepest port in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are excited about this development because CMA Terminals is a world class port operator, and can be relied upon to provide international port standard delivery services at par with most modern ports around the world to the Nigerian port customers,” he said.

Farid T. Salem, executive officer of the CMA CGM Group, said: “We are pleased to sign this Memorandum of Agreement with LPLE to operate Lekki Port’s container terminal.

“As Nigeria’s first deep seaport, Lekki Port represents a strategic choice for the CMA CGM Group. Thanks to its position and capacity, Lekki Port will allow us to bring to Nigeria larger containerships from Europe and Asia to better serve our customers and pursue our commitment to the development of the entire region. With CMA CGM’s unique service offering and expertise combined with our logistics and inland services, our presence in Lekki Port will benefit the entire Nigerian supply chain and market as well as neighboring countries,” Salem added.

Recall that three weeks back, the Federal Government pledged its total support to the Lekki Port project during the official flag-off ceremony by President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

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