What does a free trade zone mean?
A free trade zone is an area within which goods may be landed, handled, manufactured, reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of customs authorities.
It is a region where a group of countries has agreed to reduce or eliminate trade barriers, the basic objective being to enhance foreign exchange earnings, develop export-oriented industries and generate employment opportunities for the host country.
During the former governor of Lagos state administration, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lekki free trade zone was initiated and put into progress. When he left, the next governor, Babatunde Fashola, continued the project and after his regime, Akinwunmi Ambode seemed to give more attention to it. Right now, with Governor Jide Sanwoolu’s regime, it is more pronounced.
What you should know about the Lekki free trade zone…
- Area size
Lekki free trade zone covers a total area of about 155 square kilometers in the Ibeju Lekki local government area, Southeast of Lagos, Nigeria, about 50 km from the city center. This zone has been designed to become a new Lagos and has been granted a series of preferential policies and incentives, and designated as a special economic zone inside Nigeria.
Lekki’s free trade zone has provided an ideal platform to open up the diverse markets for all investors and enterprises in the world. It is already a unique landmark of the future development of Lagos state and Nigeria as a whole.
- Profitable collaboration
Lekki’s free trade zone is a major catalyst for the development of Lagos state brought about by a collaboration of the Chinese and Nigerian governments. Currently, the zone is under the management of the Lekki free zone development company.
- History making
Lekki free trade zone is the first private free trade zone in Nigeria and is known to be the biggest in West Africa.
- The frontier of tomorrow’s enterprise
By the time all the infrastructure that is planned starts operation, Lekki free trade zone is going to become the leading hub and major driver of the Nigerian economy and west Africa as a whole.
- Fast attracting investors
By having great transportation conditions both by land, sea, and air as well as its unique geographical and regional advantages, the zone serves as the best platform for any investors and enterprises who desire to open up to markets all over Africa, Europe, and the USA.
Already, the integrated agrochemical factory built by Candel FZE, a leading agrochemical company, has been commissioned. There are several other multi-billion dollars investments driven by various Chinese companies.
- It is a fastest-growing zone
According to a world bank report, Lekki free trade zone is the fastest free zone in the world.
- Lekki free trade zone will turn out a massive job opportunity
Lekki’s free trade zone project alone is expected to churn out 300,000 direct jobs and 600,000 indirect jobs with the Dangote oil refinery expected to create employment for 235, 000 people.
Just imagine how people will be coming into the zone both within and outside the country, you can only see this as an opportunity if you are smart.
With the construction of the; Lekki deep sea port, the new international airport, the Dangote oil refinery, pan Atlantic university, St. Augustine university, eleganza industrial city, different beach resorts, the proposed 4th mainland bridge, and other amazing infrastructure, it is obvious that an investment in the land around Ibeju-Lekki will reap massive returns a few years from now.
Power oil and Indomie factories are already set up in the area. So, whether you are buying land for residential buildings or selling when the price comes up, you are on the right track.
Dennis Isong Writes From Lagos