The Chairman of Lekki Free Zone Development Company, Abiodun Dabiri has said investments into the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) has risen to over N100 billion in the last 10 years.
Dabiri made this known while giving a progress report on the Zone to the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, over the weekend. Adding that more investors have indicated interest in coming to set up businesses in the Zone.
He noted that recent efforts by the governor especially in the change of baton in the management of the Zone have yielded positive results over the last one year.
Dabiri said with the massive investments coming into the Zone as well as interests from new investors, there was need for the road network to be expanded to accommodate the expected high influx.
Ambode while responding, said his administration in partnership with its Chinese partners will commit a sum of $62 million in the next six months as part of its counterpart funding to advance the ongoing development of the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ).
The governor assured that the government was totally committed to addressing the challenges and ensuring the project is actualised.
He said, “I want to assure that our financial commitment to LFTZ will be improved in 2018, that is, we will accelerate to quickly clear our outstanding counterpart funding for the zone.
“In essence, we expect that in the next six month, we should be having an investment of over $60 million. I believe that when we invest our share of the fund and China Africa Lekki Investment Limited (CALIL) does, it will bring a major development for the Zone.”
Ambode explained that putting the funds in the Zone at a time when Nigeria was gradually easing its way out of recession would not only improve infrastructure and boost development but will also help attract more investors to the Zone.
He said over $6 billion has been invested in the LFTZ in the last few years, with Dangote Group providing a lion share of about $4 billion.
He said, “Over $6 billion has been invested in the Zone in the last few years with Dangote share in the lump sum at $4 billion and we have a land space of over 16,000 hectares of which just a portion of it is activated.
“We are all aware of the investments by Dangote Group and the China Africa Lekki Investment Limited (CALIL), have done as it concerns the partnership they signed with the Lagos State Government. And this partnership made the company own 60 percent while Lagos own 40 percent.”
Ambode also assured that work would commence on the Lekki Deep Sea Port next month, saying that it was also a critical infrastructure that would attract more investors into the Zone and ensure return on investment.
He said, “With the ongoing construction of the Seaport, Airport and others, it is obvious that a single road isn’t sufficient for the Zone.
“It is now clear that we have to dualise the Lekki-Eleko Road beyond the Zone in order to withstand the influx of vehicle that will be making use of the road to access the Zone. With this, we will be able to sustain the investments in the area.
He expressed optimism that with the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Dangote Refinery and Lekki Airport coming on board, the Lagos East axis would witness massive economic turnaround within the next two years.