8th June, 2010
At the instance of the German Consul-General, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Friday led a team of members of the State Executive Council and the members of the Lagos House of Assembly to respond to the invitation of the German Business Community in the port city of Hamburg to discuss opportunities for business partnership between Lagos and Hamburg.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Business Roundtable organized by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein) in Hamburg, listed such areas of partnership and investment opportunities to include the Lekki Free Trade Zone, the Power sector, Water supply, Rail Network, Water Transportation, Housing and Health Care.
In his presentation titled â€œInvestment Opportunities In Africaâ€™s Emerging Model Mega-Cityâ€, Governor Fashola explained the rationale behind the Lekki Free Trade Zone, the proposed Lekki Airport, Deep sea multi-purpose port within the Zone, Light Industrial and manufacturing estate, Petrochemical plants and oil refineries, Housing and Power Supply as well as the incentives which have been provided for the benefit of investors.
Such incentives include 100 percent repatriation of capital, profit and dividends, 100 percent tax holidays, custom duties and levies, tax-free imports of raw materials and components for goods destined for re-export waiver on all import and export licenses and waiver on all expatriate quotas for companies operating within the Zone.
The Water supply, Governor Fashola pointed out to the German Business Community, also offers huge returns on investment as Lagos has over 18 million people and a growing population.
Other areas of investment in this sector, according to the Governor, include construction and management of water plants, water distribution and bulk metering of 31 zones and waterworks.
â€œIn the Transportation sector, there is a huge commuter demand of 10 million passengers per day with the prospect to increase to 20 million daily in 2011â€, the Governor said, pointing out that investment opportunities also exist in the Stateâ€™s proposed Seven-Rail Network Lines.
Investible areas in this sector, he said, include the Blue Line (27 km) and the Red Line (31 Km), Station Parking, Rail Infrastructure development which requires USD787MM, with projected returning annual revenue of USD400MM.
â€œWith the capacity to transport 37 million people annually with projected yearly revenue of USD37MM, our four ferry routes is also another investors haven where investors can also take on jetty construction and management, operator services as well as ferriesâ€, Governor Fashola said.
In the Housing sector, Governor Fashola explained that there is a huge demand of 40, 000 housing units annually which involves the construction of low and middle income housing estates with the State providing land as Equity and facilitating the provision of Mortgages.
Inviting the business and others to come and experience Lagos especially during the Lagos Carnival now fixed for the week of every Easter, Governor Fashola said there are also vast opportunities to develop tourism infrastructure along the 180 kilometres of the Atlantic Coastline and in the Tourist City which the State proposes to build in Badagry which offers ample opportunities for investors in Hotels and Beach Resorts .
Responding to questions from members of the audience comprising German business men, members of the German-African Business Association , representatives of various multi-national business concerns, journalists from the international media and Nigerians resident in Hamburg, Governor Fashola gave clarifications on issues relating to alleged double taxation, rail development, housing for the poor and funding for the various projects embarked upon by the administration.
Earlier in his remark, the President of the Nigerian-German Business Association, Dr Valentine Obi said it was his pleasure being in the company of Governor Fashola whose hard work had set a benchmark which is currently driving governance progressively in the country. According Dr Obi, he looks forward to a deepening of the relationship already existing between Nigeria and Germany in terms of trade and investments.
Also speaking on the occasion, the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador Abdul-Kadir Bin Rimdap commended Governor Fashola for coming on the trip solely to advance the cause of the State which he governs in the area of business relations with Hamburg in Germany, adding that some of his colleagues whose visits he got to know about in the past either came for vacation or to seek medical treatment.