Lagos Free Zone, a subsidiary of Tolaram and the first privately-owned and port-based free zone in Nigeria, attracted investors from the Nordic countries to boost investment and foreign direct investment into the country.
They were encouraged to set up businesses within the zone, capitalizing on its exceptional infrastructure, incentives and ease of doing business.
Speaking during the Breakfast Session of the Nordic Nigeria Connect 2023 conference held in Lagos on Tuesday with the theme “Innovation for a Greener Future,” the Managing Director/CEO Lagos Free Zone, Mr. Dinesh Rathi, revealed that the zone remains the most preferred and viable investment destination in Nigeria with its unparalleled ease of doing business and the unique incentives available for investors.
Dinesh noted that Nigeria has all the ingredients needed to catapult itself to a regional hub, considering the quantum of world-class facilities and infrastructure available at the zone.
He explained that the Lagos Free Zone remains the ideal destination for investment in Nigeria with huge investment in infrastructure, including gas, ready-to-lease warehouses, and factories, as well as being the only free zone in Nigeria integrated with a deep-sea port, which makes it easy to bring in raw materials, and export finished goods.
- “Nigeria is one of the strongest economies in Africa with potential for further economic and industrial activities owing to the presence of natural resources and favourable demographics, with a population of 219 million representing 20% of Africa and a GDP of $509 billion (17% of Africa),” he said.
He stated that the establishment of a free trade zone like LFZ was necessary for the Nigerian economy due to its significance to manufacturing and logistics, noting that the imminent implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement presents a significant opportunity to use the zone to promote trade between Nigeria and other African countries.
He explained further that the Lagos Free Zone is conceptualized to be a work-live ecosystem, outlining the advantages such as the ongoing construction of the first commercial tower in the zone, Irele Tower, which will provide world-class office spaces for organizations operating in the zone as well as businesses looking for an office location with proximity to the Lekki Deep Sea Port.
- “One of our unique selling propositions is that we are the only free zone integrated with a port. Our seamless integration with the Lekki Deep Sea Port guarantees the companies operating within the zone the rapid delivery of cargo and raw materials within 48-72 hours of berthing at the port, thereby creating an enabling business-friendly environment, enhancing efficiency, and connecting Nigeria to the global markets”, he added.
While making a presentation about the zone to participants at the conference, General Manager Power & Gas, Lagos Free Zone, Prem Krishna, remarked that the zone is ready to welcome investors from the Nordic countries, noting that critical infrastructure for businesses to thrive, such as ready-to-lease factories and warehouses, compressed natural gas, power plant, a truck park, medical facility, broadband networks, fire station, central processing centre, helipad, residential units and security command centre is already in place.
Krishna revealed that the company recently completed and commissioned a state-of-the-art Industrial Training Centre that will serve as a place to train and create a pool of talent for organizations within the zone.
He added that another innovative feature is the zone’s single-window digital platform that enables companies to engage with key regulators such as the Nigeria Customs Service and NAFDAC more efficiently, leading to enhanced business efficiency.
In his remarks, the Managing Director Arla Foods, Peder Pedersen, shared a compelling testimony about Lagos Free Zone‘s business-friendly ecosystem, having operated in the zone for many years. He noted that the achievements recorded in the zone over the last ten years are perfect examples of possibilities in Nigeria, saying that the success could not have come through without strong partnerships and good management.
Pedersen noted that Nigeria remains a good destination for businesses but urged investors to be resilient, prepared, and ready to take on some fundamental challenges associated with business operations in Nigeria.
About Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) Company
Established in 2012, Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) is a unique and award-winning port-based industrial zone (850 hectares) in Lagos, Nigeria, with over USD 2.5 billion committed FDI projects to date.
Owned and promoted by Tolaram, LFZ is located in Lekki, the sunrise development corridor in Lagos.
Our vision is to be the preferred industrial hub in West Africa with world-class infrastructure, and we are proud to serve global brands like BASF, Kellogg’s, Colgate, Arla, Dufil, and Lekki Port, among others, as our current tenants. Lekki Port at LFZ started operations in April 2023. It is the deepest seaport in Nigeria, with a draft of 16.5m and the capacity to handle 1.2mn TEUs per annum.