- Dangote says Lekki’s ongoing projects largest globally
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has said that the sustained flow of investment to the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) showed that the state’s free economic zone “is the next investment in Africa”.
Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, buttressed Ambode’s claim, noting that the combined projects under different stages of completion at the Lekki Free Trade Zone were the largest anywhere in the world.
They made the remarks Sunday during the inspection of the ongoing industrial jetty project the Dangote Group is currently constructing at the zone tofacilitate the movement of heavy duty machinery.
They inspected the jetty project alongside the Chairman of Forte Oil Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola; CEO, Flytime Group, Mr. Cecil Mammond; CEO, Enyo Retail & Supply Limited, Mr. Abayomi Awobokun; and the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye.
After inspecting different projects at the zone, the governor noted that massive investment the state government and the private sector had been jointly injecting into the economic zone was targeted at making Lagos emerge as the next destination for business in Africa.
He also said the investment and infrastructure renewal in the Lekki-Epe axis ongoing simultaneously were geared towards preparing the state for industrial revolution taking place in Nigeria and by extension West Africa.
He said remarkable progress had been made since the last time a major inspection of the projects was carried out, noting that the investment at the zone would positively impact on the economy of the state.
Ambode said: “We have just inspected the ongoing jetty project being done by Alhaji Aliko Dangote. You are all well aware that we flagged off the construction of Lekki Deep Sea Port some few weeks ago.
“The Dangote Group is constructing this industrial jetty to more or less facilitate the movement of their heavy duty machinery to the petrochemical plant and other projects they are doing in this Lekki Free Trade Zone.”
Ambode said that the state government would keep encouraging and supporting investors “to continue to do what is right for the economy, noting that his administration would continue to provide conducive atmosphere for investments to thrive in the state”.
“What we are doing, as a government, is to continue to encourage the Dangote Group to do what is right for Nigeria. We will also join hands together and collaborate to really show that Lagos is the next destination for the industrial revolution that is taking place in Nigeria.
“We are very happy to be doing this with Dangote Group. With the kind of infrastructure that we are providing around Lagos and the kind of infrastructure he is also providing, this place should be the next destination for anybody that is interested in investing in Nigeria.
“That is what this zone is all about. That is why a lot of what we have been doing in Epe and Lekki in pieces will really show that Lagos is the next destination for investment in Africa when they come to fruition,” he said.
Dangote said the combined projects under construction at the Lekki Free Trade Zone was the largest anywhere in the world and that it was important for the right message about the axis to be communicated to the people to appreciate its impact on the economy.
Dangote said: “What is happening here is the largest project anywhere in the world. This visit is just to show Governor Ambode the industrial jetty that we have built including the water breaker which is 900 metres.
“That is almost like about a mile. This is to show what we have done in terms of bringing in our cargo to build the refinery. We have done quite a lot in terms of water protection and it is environmentally friendly. This is what we have shown Governor Ambode.
“This is just showing that this place is going to really be open for business. We are looking for a lot of infrastructure to be built. This place will be the next destination for any investment in Nigeria.”
In her remark, Oladunjoye explained that when operational next month, the industrial jetty would facilitate the shipment of equipment to rev up the projects within the Lekki Free Trade Zone.
The commissioner said the jetty “is being done by Dangote. By the end of this month, it will be ready for use. Some of the vessel and equipment that cannot come through the land will be coming in through the jetty”.
“That is why this jetty has been built. I can assure the people that once the jetty becomes functional, most of the items needed for the fertiliser plant, petrochemicals, refinery and others will be put in place,” she said.
Besides, Ambode also inspected the new Ojota Inter-state Bus Terminal under construction, ongoing road projects linking Lagos to Ogun State from Epe axis, among others in the Ibeju-Lekki zone.