By Chiazo Ogbolu and Florence Onuegbu, Lagos.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday inaugurated the 16.5-metre-deep Lekki Sea Port in Lagos.
The president, who arrived at the venue in a helicopter alongside Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, cut the ceremonial tape to declare the port open at 4.42 p.m.
The president, thereafter, proceeded on a brief drive-through inspection of the project.
The Lekki Deep Sea Port is a multipurpose seaport at the heart of Lagos Free Zone, is believed to be the most modern and deepest seaport in West Africa.
It offers critical support to flourishing commercial operations in Lagos State, Nigeria and the entire West African region.
The port is ideally positioned to service the gateway for Nigeria and the surrounding West African region.
Speaking after the tape cutting by the president, Sanwo-Olu said that the multi-billion naira project was a collaboration between the Federal Government, the Lagos state Government and private sector stakeholders.
Sanwo-Olu described the deep seaport as the biggest infrastructure project in the whole of West Africa, which would surely generate thousands of jobs in the country.
He noted that the fact that execution of the project started under President Buhari’s administration, and was completed during his tenure, was a milestone to be proud of.
The governor, therefore, thanked the president for his commitment to the development of the country and appreciated all those who contributed to efforts to execute the seaport project.
Prior to the arrival of the president, the Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, said, in her address, that the Lekki Deep Sea Port would complement other ports in the country.
Akande said that the port would further strengthen the position of Lagos State as an investment hub in Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of the host communities, the Onilekki of Lekki, Oba Laisi Ogunbekun, thanked the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Tinubu, for conceiving the Lekki Free Zone, where the port was situated.
Ogunbekun expressed the continued support of all members of the Lekki community for development projects in the axis.
In a remark, the Managing Director of Lekki Port, LFTZ Enterprise, Mr Du Rougang, thanked the host community for their cooperation.
Rougang said that the organisation would continue to work with relevant government agencies toward the growth of the economy.
Dignitaries who witnessed the event include the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, his Information and Culture counterpart, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, heads of government agencies in the transportation sector, traditional rulers in the Lekki community and top businessmen.