Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, on Monday welcomed to Lagos the largest Container-RORO (CONRO) christened the MV “Great Lagos” vessel.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, was also joined the duo to witness the maiden voyage of the vessel, the largest ever to visit the West African sub-region.
Persecond News reports that the MV “Great Lagos” is a marvel of modern engineering, stretching 250 meters in length with a beam of 38 meters and a weight of over 45,000 tonnes.
The ship can transport 4.7 kilometers of rolling freight, 2,500 car equivalent units, and 2,000 20-foots equivalent units.
MV Great Lagos is owned by the Grimaldi Groups.
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola,
said the successful berthing of the vessel testified to the dedication of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and PTML to enhance efficiency at the ports.
The minister was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Magdalene Ajani.
The Managing Director of NPA, Bello-Koko disclosed that the “Great Lagos” is technologically equipped to reduce CO2 emissions per transported tonne up to 43% ahead of previous classifications.
He also promised improved shipping volumes, adding that the lastest development is testament that the Nigerian business environment projection is skywards.
He said: “The christening of this vessel ‘Great Lagos’ symbolises the fact that the Nigerian business environment is progressively getting better. With shipping volumes promising to get higher, forward looking investments such as the one we are gathered here to celebrate will certainly have a big impact in the long run.
“So, I want to assure you that the Authority will continue to galvanise stakeholder efforts to continuously promote the ease of doing business all in a concerted bid to optimise the rich blue economy inherent in our maritime endowments.
“The very fact that this G5-class vessel is technologically equipped to reduce CO2 emissions per transported tonne up to 43% ahead of previous classifications gives us great delight as it signposts the seriousness of Nigeria’s commitment to the dictates of the 2023 International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) GreenHouse Gas (GHG) Strategy, which envisages a reduction in carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by the year 2030.
“Let me seize this moment to reiterate that the Authority’s port modernization project and ongoing reform initiatives around our port operations are cognizant of the impact of global energy transition and we have deliberately factored in measures that promote energy efficiency. This means that we would have zero-tolerance for non-compliance by our stakeholders.”
Gov. Sanwo-Olu said the monumental feat is an evidence that the vision of Lagos playing a central role in the global maritime industry is not a folk tale.
The governor, who was represented by by the Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, commended the Grimaldi Group for its investment in Lagos State.
He said: “This vessel is not just a means of marine transport but a physical embodiment of our shared vision for a prosperous, connected Lagos that plays a central role in the global maritime industry.
“It is a symbol of our collective efforts to foster an environment where innovation thrives, and opportunities abound. We are committed, as part of the strategy to actualise the agenda of making Lagos a 21st century economy, providing the enabling environment and the infrastructure support to maximise the economic potentials in the maritime space.
“The capacity of the Badagry deep seaport under construction combined with that of the Lekki deep seaport which is already in operation will boost the status of Lagos State as a hub for maritime business in Africa.
“As we look towards the horizon, let us recommit ourselves to this journey of growth and development. Together, with partners like the Grimaldi Group and PTML, we will continue to harness the vast potential of our maritime sector, drive economic growth, and improve the lives of our people.”
In his speech, the Managing Director of PTML, Mr. Ascanio Russo, said MV GREAT LAGOS is the second of the G5-class of ships recently launched by the Grimaldi Group and named after Nigeria’s commercial capital.
“Today marks a significant milestone, not only for PTML and Grimaldi but for Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. 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.
“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 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 greatness of the “Great Lagos” is not measured solely by her size or capacity. This vessel stands as a testament to our enthusiasm to achieve the minimum environmental impact.
“With technological advancements allowing for a reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 43% per tonne transported, the “Great Lagos” is a beacon of sustainable maritime transport, setting new industry standards.
“At PTML, the port terminal which is hosting us now, we have always prided ourselves on being at the forefront of technological advancement and operational efficiency. Our terminal, the largest multipurpose terminal in Nigeria, stands as a clear demonstration of our ambitions.
” In the last one year alone, we have invested over USD20 million to upgrade our facilities to receive this beautiful ship. We have been extending our quay by over 40 metres while strengthening it to enable us to receive and operate a new Mobile Harbour Crane. All of this to accommodate the “Great Lagos,” Russo said.
The PTML Managing Director added: “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.”