By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi
The Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos celebrated the arrival of the first-ever Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vessel at a Nigerian seaport. The momentous occasion unfolded on Monday, as the vessel, named MV SCANDOLA and operated by the esteemed French shipping giant CMA/CGM, berthed at the $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport at 1600 hrs.
The ceremonial reception was led by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who personally welcomed the LNG-powered vessel. Accompanying him were key dignitaries, including Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Ukeyima Akutah, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), represented by Cajetan Agu, the Director of Monitoring and Compliance; Dr. Adenike Fajemirokun, representing Aliko Dangote, the President of Dangote Group; Princess Vicky Haastrup, Chairperson of Seaports Terminal Association of Nigeria (STOAN); and Adewale Adeyanju, the President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), among others.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, addressing the audience, highlighted the significance of Lekki Port achieving the feat of welcoming the largest LNG-powered container vessel, CMA CGM SCANDOLA, within a mere year of its operation. He proudly declared that this accomplishment firmly establishes Nigeria as a major player in global port transactions.
Emphasizing the transformative role of Lekki Port, the governor noted that the vessel’s berthing not only puts Lagos but also Nigeria on the map of global port transactions. He articulated a visionary perspective, seeing Lagos evolve into a pivotal hub for logistics and container terminals, not only for West Africa but potentially extending its influence to Central Africa and Southern Africa.
The arrival of the LNG-powered vessel marks a historic milestone for Lekki Deep Seaport and underscores its growing prominence in the international maritime landscape. The event sets the stage for a promising future as Lagos and Nigeria continue to make strides in the global trade and shipping arena.