With the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s economy, stakeholders have advocated for an increased focus on industrialization and vibrant trade flows in Nigeria’s free trade zones (FTZ).
Government officials and business leaders, who spoke at a one day lunch and learn event on “Free zones as engines of growth”: A spotlight on Alaro city, organized by Alaro city, harped on the need for the zones to operate without trade barriers, bureaucratic bottleneck and customs interference to attract new businesses and foreign participation.
Alaro city is an ambitious scheme in the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ). Launched in January 2019, the city is planned as a 2,000 hectare mixed-user, city-scale development with industrial and logistics locations, complemented by offices, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels and entertainment.
It also offers 150 hectares (370 acres) of parks and open spaces. Alaro city is a partnership between Rendeavour and Lagos State Government.
Currently, more than 30 companies are operational. Designing or building their facilities in the city, and 3.5km of initial road networks and a modular 50MVA power plant are under construction.
One of the companies in Alaro city, Ariel Foods FZE, is the largest and most technically advanced ready-to-eat therapeutic foods producer in Africa, with a yearly production capacity of 18,000 metric tons.
“We need to expand our industrial base in a strategic way, and I think that the place to be is the LFTZ, where the Lagos State Government and all relevant agencies are present to breakdown all bottlenecks.
“Alaro city is a product of a great partnership, which has achieved remarkable success in such a short time. Alaro city is serving as a major attraction for foreign direct investment to the state and the country”, according to the Chairman, Alaro city, Ayo Gbeleyi.
“We at Alaro city and Rendeavour believe free zones will play – indeed are playing – a pivotal role in accelerating economic growth and development in Africa. In fact, we believe our cities across Africa will be home to the entrepreneurs and enterprises that will propel Africa into a new age”.
The Guardian, 30 Nov. 2020
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