Lagos Free Zone To Add $12Bn To Nigeria’s GDP By 2032

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News in brief: Lagos Free Zone aims to boost Nigeria’s GDP by $12 billion by 2032, but it currently has only 24 operating companies out of the required minimum of 150.

Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) managing director, Dinesh Rathi, says that it plans to add about $12 billion to Nigeria’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2032. However, to do so, it will need to operate at full capacity, that is having a minimum of 150 companies operating there.

Rathi made the revelation during a sit-down with journalists in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos state. He said that since the project kicked off, about a decade ago (2012) only 24 companies have been operating there.

It is not clear why many companies have not begun taking advantage of the benefits that operating inside the LFZ gives, especially local ones. In fact, a news release showed that the most prominent tenants are Kellogg’s, Colgate, Arla Foods and BASF, all of which are international brands. One possible explanation for this maybe because Tolaram Group, which is promoting the project, is also an international company.

“We are in constant touch with a lot of Nigerian operators to get them inside the zone and leverage the port and the zone to create, not only a hub for domestic sales but also for exports under the continental free trade agreement and under the ECOWAS treaties,” Rathi said.

Typically, the LFZ offers Free Trade Zone benefits such as tax exemption, duty-free imports on allowed items, preferential policies and incentives, and more. It covers 830 hectares area of land and is integrated with the multi-purpose Lekki Deep Sea Port. LFZ already signed a 20-year deal with Optimera Energy LFZE, a consortium that will connect the zone to the national gas transportation grid and provide gas infrastructure.

It goes without saying that the Lagos Free Zone will host markets for agricultural produce because communities that spring up will need to eat. Also, it could create opportunities through agricultural processing companies needing suppliers within a stone’s throw.

Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya is a tech reporter of over five years, fiction writer, SEO expert and an editor. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and was previously shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize 2018.

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