Nigerian port to receive US$1.5bn in funds from six banks

LekkiPort- TolaramGroupAn artist's impression of the Lekki Port, upon completion. (Image source: Lekki Port)Six banks in Africa are expected to provide US$1.5bn for the construction of Lekki Port, likely to commence in April 2015 in Nigeria

The African Development Bank (AfDB), African Finance Corporation (AFC), European Investment Bank (EIB), Standard Chartered Bank, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Standard Bank have agreed to provide funds for the deepwater port, located in the Lagos Free Trade Zone in Nigeria.

The construction is being undertaken by Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise, a special purpose vehicle promoted by Singapore’s Tolaram Group, said Lekki Port officials.

Lekki Port managing director Haresh Aswani said that the port was a game changer due to its multiplier effect on the economy – the Tolaram Group is currently in talks with the government of Nigeria to enable a good road network to and from the port. The Lekki port will connect West Africa with the rest of the continent, and enhance trade in the region.

The government, in the meanwhile, has also pledged support to the project by providing funds to the tune of US$118mn, stated Nigerian Ports Authority managing director Habib Abdullahi.

Once completed, Lekki Port can handle 2.5mn twenty foot equivalents (TEUs) supported by a container terminal, dry bulk terminal and a liquid bulk terminal, according to the company website.

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