Ibeju-Lekki and the Lekki Free trade zone is growing rapidly becoming the fastest developing region in Africa.
Ibeju-Lekki, also known as the new Lagos is one of the 37 local government areas in Lagos state and home to 40 communities. It is a Coastal City bounded by Etiosa on the South and Epe on the North and occupies a total area of 455.00 km² (455,000m²), North East Lagos with Coordinates at 6029′ 0” North and 30 54′ 0” East.
Sitting on an elevation of 13 metres(43 feet) Ibeju-Lekki’s topography varies from areas of solid dry and stable land to marshy and wet areas.
According to the 2006 National Census, Ibeju-Lekki had a population of 117,481 in relation to the then Lagos count of 9,013,534 .
In January 2022, Lagos state population was estimated to be around 20 million and it is speculated that over 800,000 people have migrated to Ibeju-Lekki and the Free trade zone axis within these 16 years because of Governments interest and the industrial revolution happening currently in this area of which we will be reviewing in this article.
The area, now known as Ibeju-Lekki derived its name from 2 autonomous communities (Ibeju and Lekki) and became popular upon the inception of the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) in 2006.
WHAT IS A FREE TRADE ZONE?
This is going to be a very important part of this article because the Lekki Free Trade upon inception brought Ibeju-Lekki to Limelight.
The name “Free Trade Zone”,(laissez-faire) used to be formerly called “Free Port”.
It is an area within a country, where goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities.
Free trade zones are built around major seaports, international airports, national boundaries or areas with advantages and ease of international movement of goods and services
The purpose of a free trade zone is to remove those things that sit as a barrier to trade such as high tariffs and unnecessary custom duties and regulations. This, in turn, increases productivity, ease of trade and availability of goods and services at affordable prices and helps the economy grow with ease.
A very minor free trade zone anyone can relate to is the Benin Republic Free Trade Zone for used Cars and one of the most popular free Trade zones in the world is Hongkong.
Other examples of free trade zone regions in the world are Gdańsk (Poland), Honkong, Colón (Panama), Copenhagen, Los Angeles, New York City, Stockholm, Singapore and the “Lekki Free Trade Zone”
A free trade zone is a major attraction to international investors and producers of major goods and services across the globe like Car manufacturing and Assembly, petrochemical industries, technology and software industries, information and communication industry, chemical industries, food and beverages etc
The first Free-trade zone in America was first authorized in 1934, and Nigeria have followed suit in 2006, building the biggest free-trade zone in Africa.
THE LEKKI FREE TRADE ZONE
The Lekki Free Trade Zone was started in 2006 under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the then Governor of Lagos State (29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007). It is located about 50 km from Lagos City centre and sits on approximately on 15,500.00 hectares (155.00 km²/155,000.00 m²) about thirty-six (36) times the size of Victoria Island in Lagos State.
With the Atlantic Ocean on the Southern border and the Lekki Lagoon on the Northern border, the Lekki Free Trade Zone will be at an optimal advantage to the global market and will empower every sector of the Economy: exploration, production, manufacturing, importation, exportation etc
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE LEKKI FREE TRADE ZONE
Lekki free trade zone is expected to grow the Nigerian Economy exponentially as this region is forecasted by experts to produce 75% of Nigerian revenue by 2025.
Currently, there are about 40 multinational businesses licenced to operate in the Lekki Free-trade Zone. This includes industries from the Oil and Gas sectors, Petrochemicals, Car plants and Assembly, Food and beverages, Transportations and Logistics, information and Technology etc
LIST OF MAJOR COMPANIES LICENCED TO OPERATE WITHIN IBEJU-LEKKI AND THE FREE TRADE ZONE
As we stated earlier, there are over 40 multinational companies already licenced to operate in Lekki Free Trade Zone. To save time, we are going to look into 7 in detail and list others so that this article will be an easy read for you.
1. THE LEKKI DEEP SEAPORT
The Lagos state government has partnered with Louis Berger International, Cma Terminals (CMAT), China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to construct the deepest seaport in Africa at the Lekki Free Trade Zone
The US $1.6 billion Lekki Deep Sea Port has reached the 70% completion stage, hopes are high that the project will be completed in no time as the Managing Director, Lekki Ports Lekki Free Trade Zone Enterprise Limited, Du Ruogang, while briefing Permanent Secretary, the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, and other key stakeholders in May 2021, assured that the construction would be completed in the last quarter of 2022 and would commence operation on or before the first quarter of 2023
CHEC injected US$221 million into the project in March 2020 and became the company’s controlling shareholder, while Louis Berger maintains its position as the Project Management Consultant for the Lekki Deep Sea Port Project.
Upon completion, the project will handle most of the heavy lifting that associates the movement of goods and materials (importation and exportation) in and out of the free trade zone and will also ease the pressure of the Apapa Wharf significantly.
2. THE DANGOTE FERTILIZER PLANT
The Dangote Fertilizer Plant is the largest Granulated Urea Fertilizer complex in Africa and is already in full operation.
Located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Ibeju-Lekki Lagos State Nigeria, The fertilizer plant occupies 500 hectares (50,000,00sqm) of land and was built at the cost of $2.5 Billion US Dollars.
It is estimated that Nigeria consumes 1.5 million metric tonnes of fertilizer per annum. Dangote Fertilizer plant is established to produce 3 million metric tonnes per annum of urea fertilizer in phase 1.
The plant will cover production for both local use and exportation.
3. DANO INDUSTRIES BY ARLA
Dano by Arla, your favourite beverage maker, also ranked 4th biggest Beverage Company in the world have gone early to secure their key production unit right inside the Lekki Free Trade zone and to serve Nigeria and their West African Customers from here. This production unit is fully operational and functional.
4. BOLLORÉ LOGISTICS
Established in 1961, Bolloré Logistics Nigeria has grown to become one of the top 10 transport & logistics companies with the largest integrated logistics network in Africa.
With over 560 employees in Nigeria and over 30,000 employees globally, Bolloré Logistics has moved early to transfer her Nigerian head Office to the Lekki Free Trade Zone.
5. JIANGSU YULONG STEEL PIPE CO. LTD.
Jiangsu Yulong Steel Pipe Co. Ltd has maintained the record of largest steel manufacturer in China for 35 years.
With two million and five hundred thousand (2,500,000) tons of steel pipes produced per annum and five million and five hundred thousand (5,500,000)m² of coating. Yulong has been serving the Nigerian gas and oil industry for over 8 years with an excellent track record.
6. THE LEKKI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (PROPOSED)
A few minutes from the Lekki Free Trade zone, directing facing the Lekki Epe Expressway in Ibeju Lekki and about 13 mins from Lakowe Golf Course and Country Estate and Adiva Plainfield is a 3,5000 hectares (35,000,000 m²) of land reserved for the Lekki International Airport.
The airport is designed to handle 5 million passengers per annum at launch with a scope for future expansion.
7. THE DANGOTE REFINERY
In the heart of the Lekki Free Trade Zone, on 2,635 hectares (26,350,000 sqm) of land is the Dangote Refinery, the largest refinery in Africa and the largest single-train refinery in the world. This refinery occupies a land space, 6 times bigger than the entire Victoria Island in Lagos State and is 97% complete at the time of publishing this article.
Engineered to handle 650,000 barrels per day (BPD), and with the largest pipeline infrastructure in the world (1,100 kilometres to handle 3 Billion Standard Cubic feet of gas per day).
The Dangote Refinery will meet 100% of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products and also have a surplus of each of these products for export.
The Refinery is a multi-billion dollar project that will create a market for $11 Billion per annum of Nigerian Crude. The refinery has also promised to create employment for over 230,000 people upon completion. Dangote has announced that the refinery will begin full operation in the 3rd quarter of 2022
OTHER MULTINATIONAL BUSINESSES LICENCED OR OPERATIONAL IN THE LEKKI FREE TRADE ZONE
Although there are several other businesses and Institutions in Ibeju-Lekki but not within the areas mapped out as free-trade zone like Xin Hua Groups, Eleganza Industries, Pan Atlantic University, Cochairs Motors, Alaro City, Lekki Golf Course etc. We are only going to list businesses that are registered and functional under the umbrella of the Lekki Free Trade Zone.
We will continue to update this list as soon as we lay our hands on more information. Here are some of the businesses, operational at free trade zone at the time this article was last updated:
1. Kellogs Group ( makers of cornflakes, sprinkles and noddles
2. Power Oil Manufacturing Plant
3. H & Y international (A multinational Company, known for artificial human hair, attachments and weavon
4. Crown Nature Nigeria
5. Sinotruk International
6. Huachang Steel Structural Engineers
7. Teknochem Storage Company
8. Union Petroleum Service
9. World Wide Investment And Development
10. Xiyang Design & Consulting
11. Yfk Pharmaceuticals
12. Zhongsheng Group
13. Imad Oil & Gas
14. New Energy Services Company
15. Northwest Petroleum & Gas
16. Nowas Oil & Allied Products
17. Pinnacle Oil & Gas
18. Puma Energy
19. Rano Oil & Gas
20. Samon Petroleum
21. Sea Petroleum And Gas
22. Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design
23. Skye Bank
24. Spog Petrochemicals Ltd
25. Sulphurstreams Terminalling Company
26. Aobo Kedi Nig.Pharmaceutical
27. Barbedos Oil And Gas Services
28. Ben-Reubens (Nigeria)
29. China Golden Triangle Group
30. China Singye Renewable Energy Technology (Nigeria)
31. Clairgold Oil & Gas Engineering
32. Etanzila Petroleum Company
33. Fas Energy & Natural Resources
34. FZEhapel Petroleum & Gas FZE
35. Giorgio Dredging Oil& Gas
36. Harig Oil Supply & Trading
37. Hongye Construction Group
38. Huayi Furniture Manufacturing Company
There is also wide speculation that the free trade zone will feature car manufacturers and assembly plants like Toyota, Nissan or Mitsubishi in the future. There is also unconfirmed speculation that Peugeot will begin Car Assembly in the Lekki Free Trade Zone soon
You can agree with me that Ibeju-Lekki and the Free Trade zone is not just taking the last steps to become the industrial hub of Africa but also a financial powerhouse for the continent. Experts forecast have it that Ibeju- Lekki will produce 70% of Nigerian revenue by 2025.
Smart investors and individuals with this information are acquiring and developing properties in the best locations in Ibeju-Lekki.
Its highly speculated that properties in Ibeju- Lekki could provide more value than properties in Lekki Phase 1 in the near future and we are already seeing evidence as some areas that sold at 300,000 naira in 2018 are currently valued at between 5 to 12 million naira in 2022
Therefore, a property you bought today with a good title and in a good location at 15 million could double the price of properties in Lekki Phase 1 before the next decade, however, it is highly recommended you do it safely because a large verse of the lands in Ibeju-Lekki is under Government Committed Acquisition, and this explains the reasons many people bought properties and lost them totally without any form of compensation.
I know that you don’t want to gamble with your hard-earned money in Ibeju Lekki, therefore I will highly recommend you read the following articles before you touch any property in Ibeju-Lekki.
It is also highly recommended you consult the services of Real Estate and Investment GPS Ltd to guide you through your investment decisions so your story will sound like that of Mr John😀
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