Published on 27 Jan 2023

Nigerian President inaugurates Lekki Deep Sea Port

The US$1.5 bn port located within the Lagos Free Zone marks a milestone for the country as it strives to improve trade competitiveness

Photo credit: Lekki Port

The 23 January 2023 will go down in history as the day Nigeria took a giant step towards easing trade. President Muhammadu Buhari witnessed the offloading of cargo from the container ship CMA CGM as he opened the US$1.5bn Lekki Deep Sea Port - an initiative of Singapore-based Tolaram. Located in Itoke village, on the on the outskirts of Lagos, the port is expected to deliver a shot in the arm for Nigeria's position as a trade hub and reduce congestion at the existing city ports.

At a depth of 16 metres, the Lekki port is Nigeria's deepest and can accommodate vessels four times larger than those that can currently dock at the Tin Can and Apapa Ports in Lagos. It is equipped with 13 quay cranes and has a capacity of 2.5 million 20-foot containers. Full operations are set to commence by the end of the first quarter 2023.

The port is situated within the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), an 850ha private industrial zone built by Tolaram, which provides businesses with key infrastructure and benefits such as tax-free remittance of profits and dividends, the ability to export finished goods into the Nigeria Customs Territory, and exemption from government taxes, levies, and rates. Companies also have the advantage of free movement of goods to and from Lekki Deep Sea Port. Notable organisations that have a presence in the LFZ include BASF, Kellogg's and Colgate-Palmolive. The current shareholders in Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) – which was awarded the concession for the development and operations of the facility – are China Harbour Engineering Company, holding the majority 52.5% stake; Tolaram with a 22.5% stake, and the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority owning the remaining shares.


So much in store’, PwC, March 2016

The CMA CGM Group and Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise sign a Memorandum of Agreement to operate Lekki Port's future container terminal in Nigeria’, CMA CGM Group, 16 April 2018

Taking risks, addressing need, and diversifying business’, NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, 15 July 2022

Lagos Free Zone announces major expansion plan by BASF’, Techgraph, 28 December 2022

Lekki Port and CMA CGM Group to facilitate trade volume growth, increase GDP’, Lekki Port, 23 January 2023

Ahead of Buhari's inauguration, first commercial vessel berths at $1.5bn Lekki Deep Sea Port’, ThisDay, 23 January 2023

Nigeria opens 'game-changer' billion dollar deep seaport’, Reuters, 23 January 2023

Nigeria: Buhari commissions ‘West Africa’s deepest sea port’ in Lagos’, The Africa Report, 24 January 2023

History as Buhari inaugurates $1.5bn Lekki Deep Sea Port, witnesses first cargo ship offloading’, ThisDay, 24 January 2023

Incentives’, Lagos Free Zone, Accessed 27 January 2023

Subscribe to Newsletter