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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid