News / Asia

China and Nigeria Building Huge Free Trade Zone in Lagos

China and Nigeria are building one of Africa's largest free trade zones in the commercial capital, Lagos. Chinese companies will use the facility to manufacture goods for export throughout Africa.

On the tip of the Lekki Peninsula in Lagos, Nigeria and China are building a 16,000 hectare free trade zone to develop local manufacturing and reduce Nigeria's dependence on imported consumer goods.

It is one of the fastest growing areas in Lagos State and will soon have a new deep water port, an international airport and new hotels as part of a 60-40 partnership between the Chinese government and Lagos State.

Adeyemo Thompson is deputy managing director of the Lekki Free Zone Development Company. He says construction is on schedule for Chinese shareholders that include the China Railway Construction Corporation and the China-Africa Development Fund.

"In accordance with the master plan and the projections that we have made, I think, the first phase of the zone, that is the 3,000 hectare zone, will probably be close to a $5 billion investment, that is inclusive of the infrastructure we going to put on the ground, the roads, the power plants, the water plants," Thompson said.

The global financial crisis has reduced demand for Chinese goods in the United States and Europe. Thompson says the Nigerian free trade zone gives Chinese companies greater access to growing African markets for consumer goods, electrical equipment, and industrial products.

"Part of the reason why Lekki Free Zone is so attractive to the Chinese is that, the Chinese government is encouraging those companies which are shutting down in China to move out," he added. "There are funds which the government has provided for these companies to encourage them to move out to come and set up their factories in other parts of the world. We have that market. Now the Nigeria government is also encouraging investors to go to China and probably buy those factories, which are shut down, maybe at a quarter of the price and bring them into Lekki, set it up and manufacture those goods which you know you have 100 percent market right here."

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola says the free trade zone will help develop Nigeria's manufacturing sector while cutting prices for consumers.

"There is a huge market immediately waiting, when you look at the how much our people spend importing goods from across the world, or for how much they pay in excess baggage at major airports, bringing this here is like bringing home prosperity," said Fashola.

Nearly 90 percent of products used in Nigeria come from outside the country. The free trade zone will allow Nigerians to buy many of the same products now produced in China without the cost of importing them, while creating jobs for Nigerian workers.

Chinese firms gain both more immediate access to African markets and far cheaper routes to ship their "Made in Nigeria" exports to Europe.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid