French shipping group, CMA CGM, has officially agreed on a 45-year contract to manage the container terminal at the new Lekki Deep Seaport facility.
According to a recent report by Container News report, an online news platform, the contract, which was agreed in late September 2019, is among the investment opportunities that the shipping giant hopes to actualise in Africa.
Lekki Port, which is scheduled to enter service in 2022, will ultimately have a total capacity of 2.5 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) at completion.
With a depth of 16 metres, it will be able to accommodate vessels with a capacity of up to 18,000TEUs, thereby helped to ease congestion at existing facilities serving Lagos (Apapa and Tin-Can) from which trucks face a journey of several days to reach the ports.
Recall that CMA CGM Group and Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), the promoters of Lekki Deep Seaport signed a Memorandum of Agreement to operate Lekki Port’s future container terminal.
CMA Terminals, according to the MoU, will be responsible for marketing, operations and maintenance of the container terminal at Lekki Deep Seaport.
Farid T. Salem, executive officer of the CMA CGM Group, said: “We are pleased to sign this MOU. Lekki Port will allow us to bring to Nigeria larger container ships from Europe and Asia to better serve our customers and pursue our commitment to the development of the entire region. Our presence in Lekki Port will benefit the entire Nigerian supply chain and market as well as neighboring countries.”
Eric Bonnemaison, vice president, head of Africa inland services development, CMA CGM Group, said CMA CGM Inland Services (CCIS) is to open up three new hubs in Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria—Africa’s three leading economies.
“Today, an African producer looking to export their production to another continent has to reckon with a shipping cost of €2 per kilometre for their containers. That puts it at a major disadvantage to other countries where overland transport costs are far lower,” he said.
Bonnemaison said the company needs to build facilities that will enable local producers to export their goods at a far lower cost because an economy that does not export will ultimately struggle to expand.
CMA’s strategy is to establish positions on trade corridors between the main port hubs and inland areas, while in parallel developing an extensive and integrated range of logistics services.