Nigeria Bets on Chinese-Funded Port to Drive Economic Growth
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has marked the opening of a $1.5 billion, Chinese-funded deep seaport in the commercial hub of Lagos that authorities hope will help grow the West African nation's ailing economy.
The Lekki Deep Sea Port is one of the biggest in West Africa and will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in addition to easing cargo congestion that costs billions of dollars in annual revenue, Lagos Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said Monday.
The port whose container terminal is able to handle at least 2.5 million 20-foot standard containers per year will be operated as a joint venture between the Nigerian government, Lagos state, Singapore-based Tolaram Group and state-owned China Harbor Engineering Company. Both foreign companies own a majority stake of 75% in the project.
Nigeria is Africas largest economy but growth has been stalled for many years because of poor infrastructure and mismanagement. Although it has six major seaports, more than 80% of the country's imports are handled by just two of the ports in Lagos, where congestion has led to a massive loss in revenue as cargoes are often diverted to other West African nations.
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