Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday disclosed that the government and China Africa Lekki Investment Limited (CALIL), will in next six months inject $64 million into Lekki Free Zone, LFZ, aimed at fast-tracking development in the zone.
Also, Chairman, Lekki Free Trade Zone Development Company, Biodun Dabiri revealed that $6 billion had been invested into the zone.
The governor, during an inspection tour of the LFZ project said the injection of the fund, which served as equity from both parties, would help attract more investors to the zone.
Of the fund, Lagos is expected to provide $15.01 million while CALIL will commit $49.88 million into the project, as their counterpart funding.
Ambode said the state had 40 percent investment as against the company’s 60 percent ownership of the project.
The governor explained that the project, when completed, would help boost the State Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and that the project would help to reduce unemployment and capacity for the future.
“I want to assure that our financial commitment to LFZ will be improved in 2017, that is, we will accelerate to quickly clear our outstanding counterpart funding for the zone.
“In essence, we expect that in the next six month, we should be having an investment of over $60 million. I believe that when we invest our share of the fund and CALIL does, it will bring a major development for the zone.
“Putting the fund here at this time in our country will improve the infrastructure and boost development,” he stated.
The governor added that the huge fund would help fast-track the construction of alternative roads for the zone, saying, it was obvious that a single road was not sufficent for the zone.
“It is also now clear that we have to dualise the Lekki-Eleko road beyond the zone, in order to withstand the influx of vehicle that will be making use of the road to access the zone. With this, we will be able to sustain the investment in the area,’ he said.
The governor decried that communal issues experienced at the zone was responsible for the delayed in the actualisation of the project, adding that in the last one year, “we have had a peaceful atmosphere here.”
Also, Ambode disclosed that construction of the LFZ sea port would commence in April, while warning contractor handling the project to adhere to the earlier stipulated duration.
“The port is very critical to us. We will have more investors if the port is completed. It is very critical to the development of the zone and if not developed, there may not be return on investment made into the zone.
“We want to implore them (contractor) to adhere to the time frame earlier stated. Where we do not see traction, we may be compelled to take a review of what that agreement is all about,” Ambode said.
Earlier, Dabiri explained that $6 billion was invested in the last one year, urging government to urgently address its present challenges, for it to open its vision of diversifying earnings, crafting employment opportunities and attracting foreign Investments.