By Oluwatope Lawanson and Chiazo Ogbolu
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has described the berthing of MV Great Lagos, largest container-RORO ship in Nigeria and West Africa sub-region, as an expression of confidence of the international community in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said this at the maiden call of the ship to Nigeria’s largest multipurpose Roll-on-Roll-off (RORO) terminal, the Port Terminal Multipurpose Ltd. (PTML) at the Tin Can Island Port Complex, on Monday, in Lagos.
The Port Terminal Multipurpose Ltd. (PTML) is owned by the Grimaldi Group.
Sanwo-Olu also commended the Grimaldi Group for its investment in Lagos State and pledged to continue to harness the vast potential of the maritime sector, and drive economic growth.
“The arrival of the MV Great Lagos symbolises the strength and vibrancy of the maritime sector,” he said.
Also, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, said the successful berthing of the vessel testify to the dedication of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and PTML to enhance efficiency at the port.
Oyetola, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministy, Dr Magdalene Ajani, commended Grimaldi Group and PTML for deploying the vessel to Nigeria and for adding value to the Nigerian economy.
Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said that apart from the high loading capacity and several other distinctive features of the vessel, the management was fascinated by the environmental impact that was infused into its construction.
“The very fact that this G5-class vessel is technologically equipped to reduce CO2 emissions per transported tonne up to 43 per cent ahead of previous classifications gives us great delight
“It signposts the seriousness of Nigeria’s commitment to the dictates of the 2023 International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Green House Gas (GHG) Strategy.
“This envisages a reduction in carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40 per cent by the year 2030,” he said.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, appreciated the PTML for the investment which he believes would bring economic development for the country.
Adeniyi, represented by Comptroller Mohammed Jibo, Zonal Coordinator, Zone A, assured the terminal that customs would always facilitate trade and improve security in the terminal.
“Anytime you have issue with customs, our doors are always open for you,” he said.
Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, said that the arrival of the vessel was a birthday gift to the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.
According to Jamoh, it is a practical illustration for the take off the ministry, adding that it was sending signal of wakeup call for other port concessionaires.
“Other terminal operators should also invest more to ensure that our ports are the best in West Africa just as Grimaldi and the ship, MV Great Lagos is best in West Africa,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Pius Akutah, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), noted that the coming of the vessel was an eye opener to other sectors, especially the shipping line.
Akutah noted that government was ready to build the sector and ensure a level playing field, adding that the council would regulate the sector in that way.
Earlier, the Managing Director of PTML, Mr Ascanio Russo, said the new ultramodern megaship was a marvel of modern engineering and environmental consciousness, stretching 290 meters in length with a beam of 38 meters and deadweight of over 45,000 tonnes.
He added that the ship had the capacity to transport 4.7 kilometres of rolling freight, 2,500 Car Equivalent Units (CEUs), and 2,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
He said the MV GREAT LAGOS was the second of the G5-class of ships recently launched by the Grimaldi Group and named after Nigeria’s commercial capital, which it has served for many decades.
“We are gathered here on board this magnificent ship to celebrate the maiden call of the ‘Great Lagos’, a majestic vessel in the new G5 class of Ro/Ro multipurpose ships .
“The naming of this vessel is not merely a coincidence; it is a deliberate and meaningful choice that reflects the deep and enduring connection between the Grimaldi Group and the port city of Lagos,” he said.
Russo said for more than six decades, the Grimaldi Group had been a cornerstone in the development of trade and maritime relations with Nigeria, a journey of mutual growth, understanding, and unwavering commitment.
“The arrival of the ‘Great Lagos’ is not just an addition to our fleet but a reaffirmation of our devotion to the Nigerian economy and its vibrant economic capital. The ‘Great Lagos’ is amongst the largest ships ever built in its class.
“This is not just an upgrade; it is a leap into the future of maritime transport and we are proud that we are witnessing this in Nigeria.
“But the ship greatness is not measured solely by her size or capacity. This vessel stands as a testament to our enthusiasm to achieve the minimum environmental impact,” he said.
He noted that PTML had always prided itself on being at the forefront of technological advancement and operational efficiency.
According to him, in the last one year alone, the company has invested over 20 million dollars to upgrade its facilities to receive this beautiful ship.
“We have been extending our quay by over 40 meters while strengthening it to enable us to receive and operate a new Mobile Harbour Crane. All of this to accommodate the “Great Lagos.
“This investment underscores our strive to achieve operational excellence, while delivering efficient and cost effective logistics services to the broader Nigerian economy and its people.
“It reinforces our position as a key player in the maritime sector and confirms our readiness to take the port of Lagos on larger roles in the global trading community,” Russo added. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa