LASG to prioritise infrastructure development of Lekki Free Zone – Commissioner

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Lagos State Government is committed to giving priority to the development of infrastructure that will optimise the economic benefits of the Lekki and Lagos Free Zones for the State and the people.

Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade & Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem stated this during her working tour of the zone recently.

According to her, the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration is committing huge resources to develop and upgrade the Lekki-Epe Expressway while the construction, expansion and upgrading of the Ibeju Lekki road through Public Private Partnership (PPP) is being fast-tracked to complement the many developments ongoing in the axis in line with its T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Development Agenda.

Her words: “We understand that infrastructure is critical to the corridor and that is why the administration is showing strong commitments to providing the same to further drive the growth of the area. I feel excited about the various strides so far made by stakeholders to attract businesses into the Zones. The various developments already embarked upon and the contributions being made in terms of job creation and economic empowerment are truly remarkable.

“I am also glad to know that some companies operating here are already feeding other markets in Africa, thus generating foreign exchange, which we need as a nation. I implore those who are still supplying local markets to focus more on export as that is one of the major purposes of setting up a Free Zone”.

The Commissioner stressed the importance of prioritising local content in skill and raw materials as there are rich manpower resources that businesses can pull for optimal operation at a cheap cost. She further charged them with Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability practices to strengthen relationships with the host communities and mitigate operational impact on their environment.

“We cannot continue to export employment to other nations, we need to move up the economic statistics of Lagos State and Nigeria by leveraging your expertise to further train and build the capacity of our people, while I assure you that Governor Sanwo-Olu is committed to providing the support that would further drive the development of the zones.

She noted that the State will work with stakeholders, through Lekki Worldwide Investments Limited, to address the challenges as concrete steps will follow the working tour beginning with more stakeholders’ engagement.

Consul General, People’s Republic of China Consulate General, Lagos, Yan Yuqing described the Lekki Free Zone as one of the landmarks of the relationship between Nigeria and Lagos with China and described it as very important. “I can see progress, I can see success and I can see a great future. On our part, we will give all necessary support including granting of a visa, to promote the bilateral relations while I invite everyone to attend the United China – Africa Cooperation Summit scheduled for September 2024 in China.

Managing Director, Lekki Worldwide Investments Limited, Dr. Tunde Sodade described the development of Free Zones as a long-term project and expressed satisfaction with the progress being recorded while emphasising that infrastructure will continue to play a major role in facilitating further developments. He acknowledged the cooperation and partnership of stakeholders that helped in resolving some challenges while the State is doubling efforts to address outstanding issues about the growth of the zones.

Managing Director/CEO, Alaro City, Yomi Ademola, commended the consistent level of professionalism and commitment on the side of all the parties, which has led to the modest achievements recorded by the City being promoted by Rendeavour, saying there is no Alaro City without Lagos State.

“Lekki Free Zone, which is about import substitution and backward integration, with critical drivers such as Deep Sea Port, Airport, highway, etc is a catalyst for development. The opportunities are brighter with AfCFTA particularly for Lagos as most of the businesses will be in Lagos and the Free Zone. It is here the battle for the benefits of the continental agreement will be lost or won”, he stated.

Managing Director, Lekki Free Zone Development Company, Zhang Bin described the zone as a strong platform for economic development while noting that it is working to attract investors from China, Britain and other countries with the hope that Nigeria will become a leading industrial nation in the world. He expressed great confidence and faith in Nigeria and Lagos and believes that the future is indeed very great.

Managing Director, Lekki Deep Sea Port, Du Ruogang acknowledged the support of the State since the port began operation about a year ago and called for the provision of more infrastructure like roads, warehouses, logistics, etc, to aid the operation of the facility.

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