Interview: Nigeria welcomes Chinese investment: Nigerian official

08:26, November 25, 2010      

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Nigeria has developed very good relationship with the Chinese government and it welcomes Chinese investment as it is reshaping its infrastructure, said Deputy Governor of Lagos State Sarah Adebisi Sosan at an ongoing construction machinery and equipment exhibition on Wednesday.

"This exhibition is a clear testimony of our readiness as a government to create the enabling environment that would not only enable the establishment of viable business in the state, but engender growth and expansion for overall economic and physical development, " she told Xinhua in an interview.

The three-day exhibition, which started on Tuesday, is held at the Lekki Free Zone, a joint venture between Chinese companies and the Lagos state government. It is expected to be the largest free trade zone in Nigeria.

"The development of the Lekki Free Zone is important not only for its economic potentials and job creation opportunities but also for the challenges it throws to us as Africans, to demonstrate our capacity to transform our land in an orderly and predictable manner that can compete with any other model, " she said.

"The future of the trade between the two countries (Nigeria and China) is very bright because even in the state now we have many Chinese companies, construction companies on ground. Doing business with each other is mutual and I'm sure it's good investment for both countries," said Sosan.

She said the on-going reconstruction of the Lekki-Epe Expressway will continue in earnest and remains a precursor to the Coastal Highway that links Lagos State with other states in the southern part of the country.

"This will open up the entire Ibeju-Lekki-Epe axis to trade, commerce and physical development. The state government had envisioned this and has gone ahead to prepare the master for the entire Lekki Peninsula corridor toward ensuring an orderly development of this area," she said.

The master plan, including the Lekki Free Zone, will serve as the template for the development in the region, she added.

With a planed area of 30 square kilometers, Lekki Free Zone was launched following the execution of a tripartite agreement in early 2006 among the China-Africa Lekki Investment Ltd, the Lagos state government and the Lekki Worldwide Investment Ltd. It was officially approved by the Chinese commerce ministry as one of the "Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones" in 2007.

Lagos is the business hub of Nigeria with a population of 15 million.

Source: Xinhua


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