Business Hilights
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‘NPA working to pay balance of $78m counterpart funding for Lekki Deep Seaport’

A top official of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) who pleaded anonymity has revealed that “Sooner than later, the Authority will pay the remaining balance of its counterpart funding for the ongoing Lekki Deep Seaport”.

The official made it clear that “The payment of first installment $23m was to show early seriousness on the part of government,” saying “processes leading to the payment of the remaining is underway and will be done in line with due process with which NPA had been known for.

According to the official, “it will be wrong of anybody to see the remaining balance as a form of official delay on the part of the NPA”.

Business Hilights recalls the Acting Director General of the Infrastructure Concession regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chief Chidi Izuwah recently alleged that the NPA is 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.

ICRC boss during his oversight function visit to the facility, revealed that 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.

While noting 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, Izuwah said “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”.

Welcoming the ICRC entourage, the General Manager, Projects, of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), Mr. Steven Heukelom, disclosed that on delivery, “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”.

He added that “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”.

Business Hilights recalls that 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.

Available details show that on completion, the deep seaport will among other things, 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.