Opportunities in Lagos Lekki corridor grow as

The Lekki corridor also known as ‘New Lagos’, is arguably the fastest growing city in Africa . With its sizzling
real estate, huge construction projects, seaport and airport projects, this corridor is emerging as the new
main street of Africa, offering vast investment opportunities.

This part of Lagos , Africa’s largest commercial city, has seen huge investments by both individuals
and institutions with the construction of the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) standing as the high point of
investment in the area.

Although close to 70 companies, cutting across diverse sectors of the economy, have signaled interest to
do business within the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) with investment value running into billions of naira,
the state government believes this is just a scratch of the surface, as the zone presents an almost endless
opportunities, still to be tapped by local and foreign investors.

Though Lekki as a real estate corridor is not developing as fast as it is supposed to, many public and private
real estate schemes have been developed and many more are in progress.

As an emerging city for the present and the future, experts in real estate say that this corridor offers huge
opportunities for long term investors and home owners.

Chike Muoguilim, the chief executive officer of MTS Property Development Company, developers of
Violets Court , a high end housing estate in the heart of Lekki Phase One, told our correspondent that as a
developing area, values will continue to go up.

“Government is investing a lot in this part of the city. Here, you have the seaport, airport and the free trade
zone. The impact of all these is that it values will keep going up.

For a developer who has the finance and believes in the long term, one can get a better rental income going
forward; he can also get better valuation of his property going forward, which he can use to borrow from

banks and do other businesses”, he noted.

Adeyinka Onigbanjo, managing director of IHL Properties, developers of Platinum Rows in Lekki, agrees.
Onigbanjo says Lekki still remains the biggest investment corridor in Lagos.

He adds that the concentration of high networth individuals and high end business outfits in Lekki, make it a
good catchment area for investment purposes.

Apart from real estate, boundless opportunities exist within the zone in many other sectors for exploitation,
and there are many incentives to aid profit making by investors.

Sola Oworu, commissioner for commerce and industry in Lagos , says government’s desire to make
Lagos a preferred destination in sub-Saharan Africa for investors and businesses, ranks first among other
considerations.

Oworu says that as part of its transformative agenda and desire to harness the investment and business

potential of Lagos, the state government decided to establish the Lekki Free Trade Zone, to provide a
variety of opportunities for investors interested in agro-processing, clothing and textiles, food and beverages,
forestry, mining, pharmaceuticals, retail, housing and tourism, adding that “the ultimate goal of this project
is to create a new model city and a mega industrial, commercial, financial, tourism and recreational hub – a
cutting edge centre for international business collaborations.

“One of the areas where investors have so far shown strong interest include oil and gas, where a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC) and a Chinese consortium to jointly finance the establishment of $8 billion refinery
within the trade zone”, she revealed.

She explained that the zone provides an ideal location to set up manufacturing businesses in all sectors, as
it also provides access to adequate supplies of raw materials for investors in such fields as agro-processing,
textiles, food and beverages, forestry, mining and pharmaceuticals. “There are also opportunities in
commerce, retail, housing and tourism;

The beaches adjoining Lekki’s lagoon and oceanfront are the site of considerable activity, with a golf course
under construction and plans in place for various hotels, beach resorts and private villas. Fitness and spa
centres and conference facilities are also planned, with a five-acre mixed development (one, two and three-
bedroom apartments) designed to house employees of the various hospitality ventures”, she said.

Niyi Oyemade, immediate past commissioner for commerce and industry in the state, also disclosed to
Business Day that there are some incentives for investors in the zone, pointing to one-stop approval of all
permits, operating licenses and incorporation papers, 100 percent foreign ownership of investment and joint
venture entities.

According to him, there is 100 percent tolerance for repatriation of capital, profits and dividends out of
Nigeria, no requirement of import or export licenses by enterprises operating within the zone,customs duty-
free and no-quota restriction for all imported raw material products, machinery and equipment, consumer
goods, as well as any other goods for investment projects in the zone.

Muoguilim however, pointed out that the challenges associated with tapping into these opportunities
are enormous, stressing that apart from financing, land approval issues which are a general thing to
real estate development in Lagos, Lekki has its own peculiar challenges including the issue of flooding,
lack of infrastructure—roads, drainages, etc. “The area generally is a swamp and many people are
building in water-logged areas”, he noted, adding that another major challenge is the issue of native land
owners—‘Omoniles’.

“The family land ownership issue here is quite serious because sometimes you talk to people you believe
are the right people and tomorrow, another group says they are the owners. It is not even the financial
demand that matters, but the mental and emotional torture they subject you to that drains

Author: nmmin

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