Promoters of the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), Tolaram have stated that the LFZ would contribute over $12 billion to Nigeria’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2032.
According to the Business Development and Marketing Manager, LFZ, Chinju Nwankwo-Udora, the zone currently contributes about 1 per cent to the GDP with projections to hit 2-3 per cent by 2032.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, LFZ, Dinesh Rathi, at a media tour of the LFZ, said the whole free zone along with the Lekki port would be a game changer for the Nigerian economy in the years to come.
He pointed out that developed economies like China and Dubai have both recorded significant economic growth with the help of free zones and deep sea ports.
He added that so far, the impact of the zone since inception has generated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth over $2.5 billion currently committed investment into the zone with more than $5 billion FDIs expected over the next 10 years.
He added that the zone has also keyed into the federal government’s ease of doing business mandate by simplifying the entry and operations for foreign investors and by extension, improving the ease of doing business in the country.
He noted that over 15,000 jobs have been created in the zone with over 32,000 more jobs to created in the next ten years within the industrial and services sector.
The Managing Director added that a highly efficient port like Lekki is expected to reduce ocean and cost efficiency and landside congestion, thereby reducing total cost of logistics for companies by up to 40 per cent.
He ala stated that LFZ is on track to commission a dedicated skills developmwnt center at the zone by 2024 to further enable absorption of local youth into its employment pool.
Nwankwo-Udora said LFZ has signed a 20 year Gas Infrastructure Development Agreement (GIDA) to connect LFZ with the national gas transportation grid, saying that Optimera Energy LFZE a consortium of Falcon, FHN and ND Western will implement the GIDA and deliver piped natural gas to all LFZ tenants, adding that plans are ongoing to develop 300 hectares of the zone is to be developed by end of 2024.