Buhari govt targets $201bn in taxes, royalties from Lekki deep seaport

The Nigerian government is targeting at least $201 billion in earnings through taxes, royalties and duties from the Lekki Deep Sea Port.

The port project is expected to be completed in September 2022, as revealed by Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture on Wednesday.

The Minister dropped the hint Wednesday while fielding questions from journalists after the conclusion of a tour of the Lekki Deep Sea Port at the Lagos Free Zone, located some 65 kilometres east of Lagos.

He said the facility has again repositioned Nigeria for regaining the maritime business that was lost to ports in Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, stressing that it is also a big boost to Nigeria in its quest to take advantage of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“I call it a game-changer because of the impact it will have on the nation’s economy and the jobs it will create, among others.

“The investment is huge: 1.53 billion dollars on fixed assets and 800 million dollars on construction. But the aggregate impact has been put at 361 billion dollars in 45 years, which will be over 200 times the cost of building it. In addition, it will create 169,972 jobs and bring revenues totalling 201 billion dollars to state and federal governments through taxes, royalties and duties, the Minister said.

“The direct and induced business revenue impact is estimated at 158 billion dollars, in addition to a qualitative impact on manufacturing, trade and commercial services sector

“Beyond that, when it begins operation in the last quarter of this year, it will make it possible for Nigeria to regain the maritime business that was lost to ports in Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. It is also a big boost to Nigeria in its quest to take advantage of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)” he said.

Mohammed pointed out that the major advantage Nigeria has to leverage is transhipment, stressing that with the port, the country will become a transhipment hub and the revenue it is currently losing to neighbouring countries will be earned.

The Lekki Deep Sea Port is a consortium that includes China Harbour Engineering Company, Tolaram, Lagos State Government, Nigerian Ports Authority and Lekki Port Investment Holding Inc.

The Port is a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer concern, and is supposedly the deepest seaport in West Africa, covering a land area of 90 hectares with a concession period of 45 years.

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