Lekki Deep Seaport Threatened as Investors, Banks Decline Funding

The multi-billion Lekki deep seaport project in Lagos is being threatened, as investors and banks were said to have declined putting their money in the project.

The deep seaport, anticipated to become operational in 2016, is expected to grow the national economy by contributing $20 billion. It is also expected to reduce the pressure and decongest Nigeria’s premier port, Apapa Quay. Also, no fewer than 163,000 new jobs will be created if the project comes on stream.

THISDAY checks have however revealed that the construction of the port has suffered a setback owing to lack of funds. Sources close to the promoters of project disclosed that most of the banks and other financial institutions that initially showed interest in financing the multi-billion naira project have since backed out.

According to the sources, the financial institutions had doubted the viability of the project, especially since it does not hold the prospect of an early return on investment.

The sources explained that some of the banks approached by managers of the port were not willing to give financial assistance due to the fear that they might not be able to recoup their money on time. It was gathered that over four banks contacted by the promoters of the port project, only one has shown interest, but is yet to make any financial commitment.

“Don’t forget that the Lekki port is a multi-billion dollar projects which cannot be funded by individuals. As the promoters need the assistance of the government, they also need the financial support of the banks. The port is not an ordinary port such as the ones in Apapa or any other part of the country, but it is a deep sea port. The port will spur economic development around the state.

The funding involved is huge, the work is going on but we still need the support of our local financial institutions to develop the port and make it the hub in the sub-region”, the source added.

Curled from ThisDayLive

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