The Lagos State Government has released N1.6billion as part of its equity contribution in the Lekki Free Zone Development Company (LFDC) to boost the on-going infrastructural development as well as encourage investors’ participation in the project.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Rotimi Ogunleye, who disclosed this at the 2016 ministerial press briefing of the state government in commemoration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s first year in office, said he was engaging the host communities to ensure a sustainable cordial relationship with investors in the zone.
According to him, “I want to assure all prospective investors in the zone that the government has overhauled the security network in the area in order to guarantee a safe haven for investment.”
He hinted that the World Bank report listed the Lekki Free Zone as the fastest growing FZ, adding that the products from the zone are compliant with international standards as they go through the standardisation laboratories.
The Commissioner maintained that the LFZ project, which has remained the flagship of the state government industrial development initiative, was conceptualised to provide enabling environment for industries to operate as well as attract both local and foreign direct investments into the State.
Ogunleye also disclosed that the ministry has remained unrelenting in its efforts to attain and sustain high level of viable and vibrant commercial and industrial activities in the state in line with its mission to promote economic growth and development in Lagos.
He also said the Ministry has divided the zone into two parcels and four quadrants namely: South-West, South-East quadrant in parcel A and the North-West as well as the North-East quadrant in parcel B for ease of development, stressing that, “To fast track development in the zone, clearing of a parcel of land measuring about 520,000 square meters and bounded within N3/E6A-N3/E5, N4/6A-N4/E5, N4/E6A-N4/E6 and N5/E6-N5/E6 is being carried out by the contractors from local communities have reached 90% completion.”
Speaking further, he said the Lekki Free Zone Project represents the catalyst to shoot the State into real global economic reckoning, which according to him is already attracting considerable number of investors within and outside the country such as Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Complex at the South-East quadrant.
The Commissioner noted that the Dangote Group is developing a world class refinery with a processing capacity of 650,000 barrels of oil per day, adding that the 11 billion USD project will satisfy local, Africa and international market demands.
He also disclosed that the State Government is in partnership with the Chinese Consortium, China Africa Lekki Investment Limited (CALIL), for the development of 3000 hectares of land in the South-West quadrant of the zone.
“The joint venture with the Chinese consortium has resulted in the provision of over 72km of paved roads, 5.5km stabilized earth roads, 1.92km of drainages, 87 units of staff quarters, 3 units of VIP chalets, 22 units of guest house, 3 potable water schemes, 150 solar powered streetlights and 3 standard factories of 3,800m in the zone.”
“The project has also attracted some investors who have already commenced business operations in the zone, some of which are: The Candel FZE – Agro Chemical formulation plant, Loving Home Furnishing FZE – office furniture manufacturing, Dabupum FZE- water pumps, Crownature Nigeria FZE – Garments factory among others”, he said.
Ogunleye explained that in order to complement the development of activities at the Lekki Free Zone, the Ambode led administration is planning to develop the Lekki Deep Sea port with a depth of about 14m to berth heavy vessels in collaboration with the Nigeria Port Authority on equity participation of 20%, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprises 61.85% and Lagos State Government 18.15%. This is in addition to other proposed projects including the Lekki International Airport and the Enterprise Zone to provide decent workplaces for micro operators, especially artisans.