InvestInNigeria: LEKKI FREETRADE ZONE, LAGOS
The Lagos State Government released N 1.6 billion ($8.1 Million) as counterpart funding for the Lekki Free Zone project. This is part of its equity contribution to boost the ongoing infrastructural development in the Lekki Free Zone Development Project. The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye made this known at a briefing, on the 14th of May 2016, in commemoration of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode’s first year in office at the Bagauda Kaltho press centre in Alausa, Lagos. He said the move was to encourage investors’ participation in the project.
The Free Trade Zone has already attracted big investors like The Dangote Group, The Candel (Agro-chemical Formulation plant), Dabupump (water pumps), and Crownature Nigeria (Garment Factory) amongst others.
Free Zones can be divided into five categories which are:
1) Free Trade Zones
2) Export Processing Zones
3) Special Economic Zones
4) Industrial Zones
5) Foreign Trade Zones (used in the United States)
Free Trade zones are deliberate tools used by countries for economic development. They are typically located around major seaports, international airports and national frontiers. Goods can be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities. These areas enjoy many geographic advantages for trade.
The benefits of a Free Trade Zone are numerous and can be illustrated with the popular Tanger Free Zone (http://www.tangerfreezone.com/) in Morocco which accounts for more than 10% of Morocco’s industrial export representing a yearly export turnover in excess of $2.9 Billion.
Some of the benefits of a Free Trade Zone include Economic and Infrastructural Development, Foreign Direct Investment, Technology Transfer and Industrialization of the region where the Zone is located.
Written by John Onwumere, @john_onwumere, email@example.com, www.nreie.com