The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has appealed to the Federal Government to build a direct natural gas line to the Lekki Free Trade Zone for power plants that would supply electricity to the zone.
Fashola made this appeal during his opening remarks at the Lekki Free Zone investment forum and Eko Expo.
He highlighted the benefits of the zone to the economy of Lagos State, particularly the people of Akodo Lekki, which include making Nigeria the hub of oil and gas and industrial development in the West African sub-region.
He noted that the essence of the Eko Expo is to provide a forum for commerce and industry to show their contributions to the growth and development of Lagos State and the prospect for evolving an export-oriented economy. The forum also seeks to promote the development of cottage, small and medium scale industries and promote the export of processed and manufactured goods as a catalyst for industrial growth,
Others include promoting ‘made in Nigeria’ goods and to highlight prospects for private sector investment in Lagos State; promote the development and growth of engineering and technology based industries as a catalyst for industrial development; and to promote the development, adaptation and use of appropriate technology in Nigeria.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Senapon Oworu, said the Expo has been repackaged as an effective promotional platform for the benefit of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and larger enterprises.
She noted that the Lekki Free Zone, which according to her was primarily established to encourage manufacturing and non-oil exports, has provided over 5,000 jobs since 2007 with beneficiaries from the host communities.
Mrs. Oworu said that there is plan in place to build 2 megwatts (MW) power plant for the zone, which would be increased to 6MW in the short term as more enterprises enter the zone. She, however, said there is another arrangement for the construction of 10-12MW in the next 12 months.
She said: “The Lekki Free Zone occupies a land area of 16,500 hectares, and has been designed to be a multi-faceted economic development with attendant incentives to investors. It is being developed in four phases. The development of the first phase is being executed by the state government in collaboration with a Chinese consortium. Other phases of the zone include a deep sea port while the proposed Lekki-Epe Airport is also nearby.
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