By Olawunmi Ashafa and Folasade Adeniran
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday performed the pre-launch of a $50 million manufacturing plant in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, and expressed his optimism that the facility would go a long way to create more jobs.
The governor speaking at the pre-launch of the factory belonging to Longrich, a Chinese firm, said that the facility would also boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
He said that the facility was another success story of the efforts of the government in attracting investment and an eloquent confirmation of the strategic importance of the free trade zone to the state’s economy.
He said that no less than 25 companies had sett up their manufacturing plants within the zone, saying that it was indeed gratifying that the efforts to drive investments were yielding positive results.
Ambode said that the most important thing to him was that whether in government or outside of government, factories were springing up in the zone, thereby creating job opportunities for the people and improving the economy of the state.
According to the governor, one of the most fulfilling feelings in life is to see one’s efforts yielding positive results.
Ambode said: ”It gives me immense satisfaction to be here today to witness this pre-launch of Longrich Nigeria Manufacturing Plant to be located in the Lekki Free Zone in Lagos State, Nigeria.
”At the inception of this administration, one of our core focus areas was attracting investments to our state; to create employment opportunities for our people and wealth for our investors.
”Today’s event is one of those crowning moments that confirm that our efforts have been rewarded.”
He commended Longrich Group of Companies for the decision to site the $50million factory in Lagos of all the cities and countries in Africa, saying the state and the country stand to benefit immensely from the investment.
”I have been informed that this Lekki Longrich facility, upon completion, will not only be the hub for the distribution of the products to the African sub-region but will provide employment for at least 1,000 new workers in our state.
”It will boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings from exportation of manufactured products to other African countries.
”If we go by the success story of Longrich in China and the company’s track record, there is no doubt that Longrich Nigeria will be modelled after the world class LONGLIQI Bio-Industrial Park in China which covers an area of more than 133 hectares and serves as location of LONGLIQI Bio-Science Co., Ltd,” Ambode said.
While describing the firm as a global brand with a range of top class quality products and unique business model, the governor lauded the fact that Longrich had created wealth for over 500,000 people.
These people, he added, were trading in more than 30 brands of the company, with the majority of the traders residing in the state.
Ambode assured the people that the state government would continue to play its role as business enablers, especially by providing the necessary infrastructure and services required to support all investors and businesses who decide to make Lagos their home.
”Our administration has embarked on massive and ambitious projects.
”We have introduced public sector reforms and policies aimed at making it easier to do business in our state.
”Our governmental institutions like the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Office of Public Private Partnership and Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment are more than ever before, in the fore front of providing an enabling business environment for local and foreign investments to thrive.
”These are just a few indicators to assure you of our commitment to securing not just Longrich’s investment in the South-West quadrant of Lekki Free Zone but to secure and attract more investments to our state,” he said.
Ambode described the Lekki Free Zone as the flagship of the state government’s industrial development drive.
He aid that aside the physical amenities, the facility would also come with a bundle of incentives that would propel business prosperity.
He added that with the ongoing gas pipeline laying to the zone nearing completion, power generation costs, which accounts for s significant production cost, would soon be significantly reduced.
The governor reiterated the commitment of the state government to sustain the business environment and protect all investments in the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of Longrich, Mr Xu Zhiwei commended the governor for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
Zhiwei said it was on record that the governor’s efforts made the setting up of the factory which would fully take off in October 2019 possible.
”I want to thank Gov. Ambode. He (Ambode) gave us the enabling environment; he gave us the full support; he embraced our dreams and believe in us.
”We can also feel the safety and security in Lagos State,” Zhiwei said.