Investment of the Dangote Group in the Lekki Free Zone, Lagos will earn Nigeria N8 trillion annually, President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote disclosed on Wednesday. Dangote, who spoke at the maiden edition of the Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit held at the Jubilee Chalets in Epe, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Wednesday said that its investment in the zone which include its refinery and others would single-handedly earn Nigeria such huge income.
“Lagos is more than ready for business. Our refinery, petrochemical, fertilizer and gas projects will generate N8 trillion per annum for Nigeria when fully on stream.” he said. He said he was one of those who believed that State Governments should collaborate with one another for economic benefits of their states, saying that the partnership between Lagos and Kano would go a long way in driving their economy which would have spiral effect on the nation’s economy. Speaking at the event, Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said at least $2 billion would be required to revive the Lagos-Kano Rail Line as part of efforts to boost local and international trade along the Northern and Southern zones.
He said the Federal Government, in partnership with a private firm, General Electric (GE) was already proposing to invest in the project to enhance the movement of cargo from Apapa ports to Kano via the rail line. Commending the Lagos and Kano State Governors for creating a platform to collaborate for economic growth, Osinbajo expressed optimism that such initiatives would open up the investment opportunities that abound in both States to would-be investors both locally and internationally. “I believe that Lagos and Kano States have by this collaboration underscored the cornerstone of the Federal Government’s economic recovery and growth plan, namely the leveraging of synergies among States and between government and the private sector.
“The strategic role of the federal government is of course to create an enabling environment for commerce beginning with the provision of infrastructure. “For us, what this meant especially in the context of Lagos and Kano collaboration is the refurbishing of the narrow gauge Lagos to Kano Rail with a concession to General Electric who are proposing to invest almost $2billion to ensure that the rail route is effective for movement of cargo from Apapa port to Kano.
“Similarly, we are investing in the Lagos to Kano standard gauge line, the Lagos Ibadan portion of that is expected to be ready by the end of this year. Also, we have budgeted N80billion for the development of special economic zones in the six geo-political zones of the country,” Osinbajo said. While reeling out plans by the Federal Government on power, the Vice President said arrangements had been firmed up to establish independent power projects to specifically service printers in Somolu area and traders in Sura Market.
He said the Federal Government would keep a close tap on the decisions reached at the Summit and would use it direct its engagement with State Governments going forward. “Let me again commend Governors Ganduje and Ambode for this Summit. I want to commend Governor Ganduje for making the long journey to Lagos. I must also say that Governor Ambode deserves special mention for his foresightedness in establishing this collaboration, working with Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi on the famous LAKE Rice and even leasing land from Ogun State to grow rice which I think is another act of collaboration,” Osinbajo said.