Nordic-Nigeria Connect 2023: Lagos Free Zone woos Nordic investors

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Nordic-Nigeria Connect 2023: Lagos Free Zone woos Nordic investors
Nordic-Nigeria Connect 2023: Lagos Free Zone woos Nordic investors


Mr 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.

Lagos Free Zone, a subsidiary of Tolaram and the first privately-owned and port-based free zone in Nigeria is set to attract 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, capitalising 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.

Mr 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. He said it is also 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 favorable demographics, with a population of 219 million representing 20 percent of Africa and a GDP of $509 billion (17% of Africa),” he said.

The Managing Director 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. He stressed 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 conceptualised 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 organisations 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 a business-friendly environment, enhancing efficiency, and connecting Nigeria to the global markets”, Mr Dinesh added.

While making a presentation about the zone to participants at the conference, the General Manager Power & Gas, Lagos Free Zone, Prem Krishna, remarked that the zone is ready to welcome investors from the Nordic countries. He said 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 organisations 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 emphasised that the achievements recorded in the zone over the last ten years are perfect examples of possibilities in Nigeria. He said that the success could not have come through without strong partnerships and good management.

Mr Pedersen noted that Nigeria remains a good destination for businesses and urged investors to be resilient, prepared, and ready to take on some fundamental challenges associated with business operations in Nigeria.

 

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