The Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), Mr. Dinesh Rathi has expressed confidence that the integration of Lekki Port with Lagos Free Zone would be a major catalyst to bringing about huge economic fortunes for Nigeria.
Rathi disclosed this during a panel discussion at the West Africa Property Investment Summit titled: “Industrial Infrastructure, Special Economic Zones, and Master Planned Developments,” in Lagos.
He noted that for Nigeria to realise its economic potential, it must begin to focus on planned city developments like the special economic zones to fast-track development and enhance the economic well-being of its people.
According to him, Lagos Free Zone is a classic example of a planned development that can drive growth given its integration with Lekki Port, which is well-equipped with world-class infrastructure to enhance the ease of doing business.
He further explained that the combination of LFZ and the commencement of operations at Lekki Port remains a game changer that would help to unlock the country’s economic opportunities.
He stated that the decision to provide enabling infrastructure in the zone is aimed at assisting investors, both local and foreign, with the ease of doing business to contribute to Nigeria’s attractiveness for FDI and economic transformation.
“What we have also done apart from creating Lekki Port as a gateway and transshipment hub is the creation of a free zone that is well equipped with world-class infrastructure- warehouses, standard factories, logistic parks, among others. All of these are to make the operator come in, plug and play. Operators or investors can thrive in the zone because it provides them with the resilience since they can do it in the most efficient and optimised manner,” he said.
He further stressed that the zone has provided a power plant as a huge incentive for investors, noting that the challenge around reliable and affordable power, which has been the bane of Nigeria becoming a manufacturing hub, may soon become a thing of the past.
He disclosed that with the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) coming into force, Lagos Free Zone would become a big investment destination to facilitate trade into Nigeria.