Lagos State Governor, Mr Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, says the multi-billion dollars investments in Lekki corridor will multiply the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Sanwo-Olu said this on Friday during a two-day working tour with his cabinet to the three free trade zones established in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos.
He said that the Lekki Seaport alone had the potentials to dramatically turnaround the state’s economy and generate employment for teeming Nigerians, when completed in 2023.
The governor expressed satisfaction with the level of remarkable progress made so far in the multi-billion dollars project.
He described the three big concessions and free zones in the axis namely: The Lagos Free Zone and Lekki Port, the Lekki Free Trade Zone and the Dangote Refinery and Fertilizer, as huge investments capable of changing the fortune of the nation and the citizens.
The first phase of the seaport project, which is being financed by $629 million facility from China Development Bank (CDB), is at 48 per cent completion.
”Given the report I got and what I have seen here, I can say that Lagos Free Zone has made tremendous improvement. We have seen the level of partnership Tolaram Group is bringing in terms of international investment and local brands on this corridor.
”I commend all stakeholders that are with us on this journey we have found ourselves. With the level of work we have seen, I am truly excited. It is more gratifying that, we are taking up this assignment with all energies required and we all can see what we can achieve when we work together.
”Since we signed a loan agreement less than 18 months ago, we have demonstrated strong capability in bringing the project to reality. This is the first quarter of 2021 and we have seen the project in about 48 per cent completion.
”The investors have given us the commitment on first quarter of 2023 completion date. We will fulfill all our parts to make sure this date becomes reality.
”We can see that everything that we are about is about is creating job for youths and creating opportunities for youth and changing the landscape of of our host communities,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lagos Free Zone, Mr Dinesh Rathi, said that Tolaram Group, a Singaporean company, initiated a $2 billion investment in the Lagos Free Zone, out of which the investor committed $950 million to developing manufacturing hub in the zone.
Rathi said that when completed, the deep seaport was expected to generate more than 170,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for Lagos residents.
He said that it would serve as alternative in an effort to decongest the Federal Government-owned seaports in Apapa.
The Chairman of Lagos Free Zone Development Company, Mr Biodun Dabiri, commended the state government for its commitment towards changing face of commerce in Africa.
Dabiri said that all statutory permits, licences and endorsement for the Lekki port project were already secured.
”There is strong guarantee that the port will be delivered before time, going by the inflow of capital investment and technical services,” he said.
The governor and his entourage also visited Africa’s second largest manufacturing plant of Kellogg Tolaram, manufacturer of cornflakes, which is built in Lagos Free Zone.
He toured the processing unit of the firm and inspected the production chain.