On February 14, 2020, a group of Japanese Investors was hosted to a tour of Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) – ‘The Gateway to a New Frontier’. The LFZ is in ‘The New Lagos,’ a name earned by Ibjeu-Lekki region, one of the fastest-growing local government areas of Lagos State.
This region is home to several brands such as Kellogg’s, Colgate, Dano Milk, Indomie and BASF, all of whom have manufacturing facilities in the zone. LFZ also houses Lekki Deep Sea Port, which is poised to contribute about 3 percent to the national GDP by 2025. This makes the Zone well connected to regional and international routes while offering investors access to an enormous consumer market across Nigeria. The deep seaport will be operational by the second quarter of 2022.
Once fully developed, the LFZ will house over 150 industries in different sectors – from FMCG to engineering and pharmaceuticals, bringing in billions of dollars in foreign direct investment to Nigeria. The Zone will also serve as a logistics hub for West Africa and have a real estate cluster, creating a complete live-work-play environment.
The LFZ is promoted by Singapore-based, Tolaram Group. With the presence of a one-stop-shop clearance, LFZ is changing the narrative around the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The facilities on the ground include an operational truck pack, emergency response medical facility, and a central processing centre that hosts agencies like the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
In line with its commitment to the Ease of Doing Business, LFZ provides and maintains internal infrastructure in the industrial complex including streetlights, warehouses, access roads, drainage, among others, for all investors.
Shigeyo Nishizawa, trade commissioner/managing director of JETRO Lagos (Japan External Trade Organization), said, “Since the last time I held a meeting with Japanese companies’ MDs in December, I found that the MDs were interested in the Lagos Free Zone, hence I decided to hold a site visit. Over 40 officials visited the site.
“The participants were not only food manufacturers, but also home appliances, vehicle manufacturers, medical equipment manufacturers, overseas traders and government agencies. We were pleased to have been received by Mr Haresh Aswani, MD of Tolaram Group, and Mr Dinesh Rathi, CEO of LFZ.
“We checked the site and Lekki deep seaport construction progress and understood that the LFZ will be a real game-changer of the Nigerian economy. ‘Seeing Is Believing’. I recommend many businesspersons to come and see what is happening in the vibrant future of Nigeria.”
The tour was organised by the Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council (JNBFC) in collaboration with the Lagos Secretariat – JETRO.