Firms stake $2.2b on LFTZ as deep seaport gulps $1.65b

THE Lagos Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) has attracted not less than $2.2 billion (N438.4 billion) investment.

According to its promoters, the investments are earmarked for infrastructure development and business ventures within LFTZ.

Already, over $1.65 billion has been committed to the development of the deep sea port, in addition to $400 million spent to develop LFTZ.

Providing an update on its ongoing operations and activities, the LFTZ Head of Legal Services, Mrs Ololade Oladipupo in a statement, revealed that there are about 17 registered enterprises within LFTZ with five of them currently fully operational, adding that “it is projected that they will bring in over $600 million in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the near future’.

Oladipupo was quoted in the statement as saying that the various incentives being offered to investors within LFTZ and the one- stop- shop services have also served as major catalyst to attracting investments in the Zone.
She explained that given the huge plans for LFTZ, it is expected that it will serve as a commercial hub for both local and international investors in the nearest future.

According to the statement, the LFTZ was envisioned with the aim of promoting the vision of the Federal Government by contributing significantly to the growth of FDI and employment generation.
LFTZ was established in 2002 and is located on  65km east of Lagos, currently covering an area of 805 hectares in the Ibeju – Lekki area of Lagos State.

When fully developed, LFTZ is expected to  house about 250 industries, including petroleum, petrochemical, food and beverages, chemicals & pharmaceuticals, metals & engineering, non-metallic minerals and agri-commodity manufacturing complexes.

The statement explained that LFTZ will also offer “excellent infrastructure including power plant, natural gas and other utilities coupled with modern facilities such as residential units, recreational areas, supermarkets and restaurants, banks, medical facility, corporate centre and offices”.

Oladipupo said the free trade zone regime was promoted by the Federal Government as a means of encouraging FDI, the development of trade and industry as well as the generation of employment in Nigeria.

The statement said: “In line with this, there have been a couple of established Free Trade Zones within the Ibeju – Lekki Axis, including Dangote Refinery, the Lekki Free Zone which is jointly owned by the Lagos State Government and the Chinese consortium, and the Lagos Free Trade Zone.

“Within Lagos Free Trade Zone is an integrated deep sea Port being promoted by Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise in conjunction with Lagos State Government and Nigerian Ports Authority, which occupies an area of 90 hectares with the capability to handle container, liquid and dry bulk cargoes. The Port will be the key to West Africa, and will become operational by June 2019.”

#Guardian

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