New Telegraph

LFZ To Attract $12bn Investment In 10 Years, Offers 16,000 Jobs

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The first private free zone in Nigeria, Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) has been positioned to attract $12 billion (N8.4 trillion) by 2032. The promoter of the zone, Tolaram, said that investment in the zone had reached $2.3 billion out of the $2.5 billion committed investment since it was established in 2012. According to the Managing Director of LFZ, Dinesh Rathi, the zone covers an area of 830 hectares, adding that it was fully equipped with world-class infrastructure. He explained that Nigeria was one of the strongest economies in Africa with potential for further economic and industrial activities, owing to presence of natural resources and favourable demographics. Rathi said that out of its 20,000 global employees, the company had 16,000 workers in Nigeria, stressing that in the next 10 years it would create 32,000 jobs in the country.

Rathi said that Tolaram was the Africa’s largest consumer goods company with leading brands in noodles, pasta, cooking oil, dairy, cereal, snacks, oral care, personal care, home care. The managing director stressed that the free zone had a fully integrated deep-sea port, explaining that Lekki Port was Nigeria’s single largest private infrastructure investment built in Lagos State. According to him, LFZ is a special economic zone located in Lagos integrated with the first deep-sea port in the country. Rathi noted that phase 1 development of the port includes: 1.2 million Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) capacity, two container berths, noting that the final phase port build-out would include: 2.5 million TEUs, 16.5 million draught, three container berths, dry and liquid bulk berths.

Highlighting the incentives of LFZ, he explained: “No federal, state and local government taxes, levies and rates; no import duties applicable on goods imported from outside the country; up to 100 per cent of finished goods may be exported into Nigeria Customs territory on the payment of appropriate duties along with a valid license; remittances of profits & dividends earned by investors in the zone without payment of withholding tax; 100 percent ownership of business allowed in the zone and 100 per cent repatriation of capital investment in the zone at any time with capital appreciation of the investment.” Also, Rathi stressed that LFZ had signed a 20-year Gas Infrastructure Development Agreement (GIDA) to connect LFZ with the national gas transportation grid.

The managing director noted that Optimera Energy LFZE, a consortium of Falcon, FHN & ND Western would implement the GIDA and deliver piped natural gas to all LFZ tenants. Also, the managing director added that the Tolaram had pioneer digital bank in Indonesia with an award-winning microloans platform and a fast- growing current and savings account. On its value chain in Nigeria, Rathi said that it had invested $500million in 24 world-class integrated manufacturing facilities, stressing that it had over 500,000 retailers and 4,000 vehicles reaching primary and secondary distributors. Rathi said that it had 24 warehouses across key distribution regions with 200 million consumers in West Africa, making Tolaram the largest consumer goods company in Nigeria. Also, he said that the company had 28,000 hectares of oil palm, cassava and corn as raw materials for its packaged food business via wholesalers, supermarkets, shops, kiosks and tabletops.

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