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Nigeria targets transshipment hub status as Lekki seaport berths largest container vessel on Nigerian waters

The Lekki Deep Seaport, Sunday, January 21, 2024 berthed the largest container carrier to sail on Nigerian territorial waters in furtherance of the ambition of the country to attaining transshipment hub status.

The vessel measuring 367M in length overall, christened “Maersk Edirne”, has a Breadth of 48.2 and carries a Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) of 142,131metric tonnes and a Deadweight Tonnage (DWT) of 147,340 metric tonnes, constituting 3,376 total cargo onboard was navigated to safety by pilots of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The container vessel reached Lekki Port around 14:42 hours on Sunday, January 21, 2024, marking its docking time.

The new CMA CGM WAX service, comprising 13 large container vessels, includes the Maersk Edirne and is set to operate along crucial routes encompassing Xiamen, Qingdao, Shanghai, Singapore, Lekki Port, and Abidjan.

Following the vessel’s arrival, Laurence Smith, chief operating officer of Lekki Port, characterized the berthing of such a sizable vessel as a positive development poised to make a substantial contribution to enhancing the Nigerian economy by facilitating increased cargo delivery and reducing shipping costs.

He commended the container terminal operator, Lekki Freeport Terminal, a subsidiary of CMA CGM for providing efficient terminal services to port users since the commencement of commercial operations in April 2023 for their dedicated efforts to make the container terminal the best in the country.

In addition, in response to the development, Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), stated that the accomplishment validates the assurances provided by the Authority during the signing of the Presidential/Ministerial Performance Bond in December 2023

He lauded Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, for consistently supporting and endorsing the Authority’s initiatives and investments in employee upskilling and equipment renewal. This support contributed to making the berthing of the vessel seamless

Prior to now, the largest commercial vessels to sail on Nigerian waters were “MV Stadelhorn” and “MSC Maureen” at Onne Port and TinCan Island Port Complexes, respectively. Thus, the berthing of a ship measuring 367 meters at Lekki Deep Seaport represents a quantum leap forward.

Source: Ripples Nigeria