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“Lekki Free Zone will open to commercial activities in 2023”

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Commercial operations at the Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) will begin in the first quarter of 2023, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, got the assurance from Tolaram Group – the frontline investor handling the project.

The Governor and members of the State’s cabinet are currently on a two-day working tour of the three free trade zones established in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos.

The port, which is being constructed by China Habour Engineering firm, is occupying 90 hectares in the entire 830 hectares of land carved out for the Lagos Free Zone, created in 2012 to enhance economic position of Lagos as manufacturing and logistics hub in West Africa.

The first phase of the seaport project, which is being financed by $629 million facility from China Development Bank (CDB), is at 48 per cent completion.

After going through the project master plan, Sanwo-Olu said his administration remained committed to delivering project, stressing that the deep seaport and other investments happening in the corridor had the potential to increase the State’s GDP in multiple folds.

He said: “Given the report I got and what I have seen here, I can say that Lagos Free Zone has made tremendous improvement. We have seen the level of partnership Tolaram Group is bringing in terms of international investment and local brands on this corridor.

“I commend all stakeholders that are with us on this journey we have found ourselves. With the level of work we have seen, I’m truly excited. It is more gratifying that, we are taking up this assignment with all energies required and we all can see what we can achieve when we work together.

“Since we signed a loan agreement less than 18 months ago, we have demonstrated strong capability in bringing the project to reality. This is the first quarter of 2021 and we have seen the project in about 48 per cent completion. The investors have given us the commitment on first quarter of 2023 completion date. We will fulfill all our parts to make sure this date becomes reality.”

Sanwo-Olu, who noted that he had been part of the conversation for the development of the free zones as a Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in 2006, said his administration had recorded significant progress in bringing the projects to reality.

The Governor said the priority accorded to the construction of complementary infrastructure projects along the corridor was a demonstration of his Government’s fulfillment of its pledge to Lagos residents. He promised the State would work with the timeline to ensure all projects mapped out in the zones are deliver.

Sanwo-Olu said the size of the deep seaport will allow 18,000 TEU capacity vessels, which are four times bigger than the ones berthing at Apapa seaports, thereby scaling down the cost of container transportation from any part of the world.

He said: “The interesting part is that, our youths and young women will be the beneficiaries of this project. The project managers have engaged large number of our citizens in the construction parts of the work; all personnel are not expatriates. All the technical work and technology deployed have local component to it.

“For us a Government, this is the strongest point we have made with the project. I am fully convinced that the delivery of this project will transform commercial architecture of West Africa and bring about quick turnaround time in maritime sector.”

When it is completed, the deep seaport is expected to generate more than 170,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for Lagos residents, and serve as alternative in an effort to decongest the Federal Government-owned seaports in Apapa.

Chief Executive Officer of Lagos Free Zone, Mr. Dinesh Rathi, said Tolaram Group, a Singaporean coy, initiated a $2 billion investment in the Lagos Free Zone, out of which the investor committed $950 million to developing manufacturing hub in the zone.

When the deep seaport is completed, Rathi said the maritime project was expected to generate more than 170,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for Lagos residents, and would serve as alternative in an effort to decongest the Federal Government-owned seaports in Apapa.

Chairman of Lagos Free Zone Development Company, Mr. Biodun Dabiri, hailed the State Government for its commitment towards changing face of commerce in Africa, stressing that all statutory permits, licences and endorsement for the Lekki port project were already secured.

“There is strong guarantee that the port will be delivered before time, going by the inflow of capital investment and technical services,” Dabiri said.

The Governor and his entourage also visited Africa’s second largest manufacturing plant of Kellogg Tolaram, manufacturer of cornflakes, which is built in Lagos Free Zone. The Governor toured the processing unit of the firm and inspected the production chain.

Also joining the Government’s team in the tour are the Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Freeport LFZ, Mr Du Ruogang, and Head of Marketing for LFZ, Ms. Chinju Udora, among others.

 

GidiNews is exclusively designed to cover and report Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital city. We bring you news updates, reports, opinions and analyses in Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Crime, Health and Education among others. GOT NEWS FOR US? Reach us: +2349090870065, +2348055441309

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BUSINESS

Everything you need to know about the new Lekki-Epe International Airport

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Economic development is a vital component of our economy’s growth, as it creates high-wage jobs and improves people’s quality of life. The Lagos state government has planned another major means to create, attract and maintain jobs in the new developing axis of Ibeju-Lekki, likewise making lives easier.

While the role of economic developers is frequently overlooked, creating and maintaining major development for a region is an important component of a healthy economy and society. Thus, this led to the aim of building an international airport in Lekki-Epe, to bring development, ease down tension on Murtala Muhammed International airport, Ikeja and also to be of service to the fast-growing area of Lagos state.

Details about the new Lekki-Epe International Airport

Due to the large volume of people streaming in and out of Lagos, as well as the strain on the sole existing airport, the Lagos State Government started the new international airport project in Ibeju-Lekki.The new international airport development project ongoing at Lekki-Epe axis is located in Epe, east of Lagos, Nigeria. It is adjacent to Alaro City. The master plan is complete, and the airport site has been secured on 3500 acres. The airport is designed to handle five million passengers per year, with more room for development in the future.

The Lekki Airport project’s first phase is anticipated to cost US$450 million, and it will be located around 10 kilometers from the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ). It will be designed to accommodate the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner, and will be designated as a Code F airport.The new airport will relieve congestion at the aging Murtala Muhammed International Airport, as well as serve the fast-growing industrial Lekki district, the Lekki Deep Seaport, Dangote’s 650,000bpd refinery, the Lekki Free Zone, and other locations.

Apart from its primary purpose, the new airport will enhance both residential and commercial infrastructure. Ibeju-Lekki has already landed significant projects like the Free Trade Zone, putting it one step closer to being Africa’s next commercial hub.

 

Challenges

However, the newest development has faced so many challenges in the past. For instance, in the year 2015, around May. The development of the Lekki-Epe International Airport is reportedly stalled due to local landowner opposition to the land acquisition process, as well as delays in investors committing to the airport financing. Sola Oworu, the former Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, acknowledged that the state government is “looking for investors” and that construction on the project will resume once new funding is secured. The state administration is also returning some of the land it has bought to 98 local villages, some of which had been purchased for a planned perimeter road. Meanwhile, the project has continued to progress steadily.

MAJOR HUBS IN THE AXIS

  • Lekki Free Trade Zone: The Lekki Free Zone which was established in 2006 is a modern free zone that follows international best practices. The zone’s 16,500 hectares are separated into four quadrants and administered by a variety of operators, taking advantage of Lagos State’s status as West Africa’s main distribution hub.The Lekki Free Zone is situated in Lagos State’s southeast portion, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and the Lekki Lagoon to the north. It is 50 kilometers from Victoria Island, Lagos, and is bordered by five kilometers of coastline.
  • Alaro City: It is located in the Lekki Free Zone’s North West Quadrant in Lagos, Nigeria.The city is conveniently located on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, providing easy access to Lagos and the rest of Nigeria. To the south of the city, the largest deep-sea port in West Africa is now under construction.
  • Dangote Refinery:Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, is building the continent’s largest oil refinery, a fertilizer factory, a petrochemical plant, and a sub-sea gas pipeline project, which is valued at $17 billion.
  • Lekki Sea Port: The largest deep-water port in West Africa is also being built, allowing exports to West Africa and beyond.Local and international investors are flocking to the Zone.

Benefits of the Project

The new international airport in Lekki-Epe will provide so many benefits to both the resident and the government of Lagos state. Also, improvement to the Economy of the state. Other benefits include;

Investment Opportunity: This massive development is going to provide a lot of opportunities for a secure and long-term investment. However, before you begin signing checks, you must first comprehend the significance of land titles and pricing. The majority of the land near the airport does not have a C of O land title. The majority of the titles you’ll see there are either excisions in progress or gazettes. This explains the disparities in gross price between different real-estate firms. Make sure any block of land in Ibeju-Lekki has a legal C of O title before paying for it.Granted, your agent may tell you that a Gazette or excision in a procedure is a ‘done deal’ and that you don’t need to worry; nevertheless, if you’re knowledgeable with how the Nigerian system works, you’ll understand that there’s no guarantee until you have proper documentation.

Land Appreciation: Properties on the periphery of an airport appreciate up to 40% in value in the first few years after the airport’s completion, and the rate rises to around 80% after the airport’s operations are fully operational. Once landed property is strategically placed close enough to gain all of the benefits of living near an airport while remaining far enough away to avoid the drawbacks of living too close to an airport, such as noise pollution and potential health consequences. Housing costs rise as a result of the extra benefit of convenience. Hence, this serves as a great benefit to investors in the area.

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BUSINESS

How to access federal mortgage loans in Nigeria

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Housing being one of the most crucial components of human life leaves everyone with no choice but to have a roof over their heads, thus everyone requires a place to call home. In essence, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) was founded to ensure that Nigerians had reliable and inexpensive access to homeownership. Many Nigerians, however, fail to take advantage of this opportunity, as the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria makes it easy to become a property owner with the necessary information and strategy fix in place.

Meanwhile, in this article, we’re going to discuss extensively how you can get access to Federal Mortgage loan in Nigeria, the steps and procedure to it.

Details About the Federal Mortgage Loans in Nigeria

Let’s start by knowing the meaning of Mortgage Loan;

Mortgage Loan is a loan that can be used to purchase or refinance a home. “Mortgage loans” is another term for mortgages. Mortgages allow you to purchase a home without having to pay in full but as time proceeds. It’s mostly granted to individuals who are interested in owning a house but don’t have the total cost of the house available at the moment. Let’s discussed the Federal Mortgage Loans;

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is an institution that was established in the year 1956 with the aim of lessening the burden of Nigerians in some certain projects. It became Nigeria’s apex mortgage institution in 1994. Since then, it has maintained and overseen the National Housing Fund, a contributing savings system (NHF).

The NHF is a social savings project that aims to raise long-term money in order to provide contributors with low-interest loans.It is one of the FMBN’s main responsibilities. The National Housing Fund Act governs federal mortgage bank loans in Nigeria (1992).

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria has its main purpose: that’s to improve the availability of inexpensive and easy-to-acquire homeownership in Nigeria. The organization accomplishes this primarily through long-term liquidity and creation of new products and services.

The Decree

According to the Federal government of Nigeria, there are various decree guiding the organization to ensure it functions according to its main goal. They include;

  • Collect and administer the National Housing Fund according to the NHF Act’s stipulations.
  • Provide Nigerian mortgage institutions with long-term credit facilities.
  • Encourage the establishment and growth of viable main and secondary mortgage institutions to meet the demand for housing in Nigeria’s various regions.
  • Do anything and engage in any transaction that, in the Board’s opinion, is required to guarantee the appropriate performance of the FMBN Act’s functions.
  • Investing both domestic and international funds in the housing market.
  • Connect the stock market to the housing market.
  • Create and run a thriving secondary mortgage market.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Federal Home Loan?

You must be a Nigerian who is at least 18 years old. They had to have made a six-month contribution to the National Housing Fund. Applicants must also show that they have a consistent source of income.

How Do I Apply for A Federal Home Loan?

It is common knowledge that you must apply for a loan before receiving one. All you have to do when you require a loan is apply for one.The following is the procedure for applying for a Federal Mortgage Loan in Nigeria:

  • Institutional borrowers can apply for the loan directly through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
  • Individuals can only apply through a fully regulated Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB) of their choice. However, you will not be able to apply for the loan through FMBN.
  • The loan applications must be obtained from the same Primary Mortgage Institution.
  • You must have registered your principal mortgage institution with FMBN in order to access the national housing fund service.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Loan from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria?

In general, the following documents are required:

  • The application form has been completed.
  • Title papers photocopied
  • Current value report for the house you want to buy or bills of quantities for the house you want to build.
  • Certificate of tax clearance for three years.
  • Evidence of NHF involvement
  • Paystubs for the preceding three months, copied
  • Depending on the loan amount requested, an equity investment or personal ownership may be required.

The Steps for Registering a Federal Mortgage Loan?

All Nigerians in employment, whether self-employed or employed, are required to contribute 2.5 percent of their basic salary/income to the fund under the NHF Act No.3 of 1992.

The registration procedure is as follows:

  • The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria will send an Employer Registration Form (NHF1) to employers (FMBN).
  • Employers must complete Form NHF1 and deliver it to their local Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria office.
  • The Employer will be registered with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and given an employer registration number.
  • Employers will be given form NHF2 by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, which employees would fill out. Alternatively, you can directly contact self-employed or individual consumers.
  • The employee will complete and deliver the NHF2 form to the employer.

The employer or self-employed persons will submit completed form NHF2 to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

  • Employees will be registered on Form NHF2, and each employee/self-employed individual will be assigned a participation number.
  • Each registered employee will receive a passbook from the Federal Mortgage Bank, in which the employer will record the monthly deduction of his or her 2.5 percent basic income.
  • Contributions will be deducted at the source by the employer. They will then submit such deductions/contributions to Nigeria’s Federal Mortgage Bank. It will be accompanied by a payment schedule that details the amount each employee contributed as well as the quantity of time covered
  • Self–employed individuals’ contributions will be remitted to FMBN on a monthly basis.
  • Contributions will be accepted and payment receipts will be issued by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

What is the maximum amount you can apply for?

You may be eligible for a maximum loan of N15 million, or as the bank may advise. However, no one should be given credit for more than 90% of the value of the mortgaged property.

How can I get in touch with Nigeria’s Federal Mortgage Bank?

Any of the following methods can be used to contact FMBN;

Address of the office of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria – 266 Cadastral AO, Central Business District. PMB 2273 Garki, Abuja. Nigeria

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BUSINESS

Business owners lament hike in cost of goods movement

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By Michael Dibie

Business owners in Nigeria have kicked against the high cost of movement of goods in the country saying it costs more to move goods within the country than shipping them from the U.S.

According to a recent report from the World Bank, the cost of moving goods (per unit distance) domestically in Nigeria is about 5.3 times higher than in the United States of America.

Transport operators say the increase is as a result of dilapidated infrastructures and poor security issues.

“The challenges we are having on the road, No 1, bad roads, insecurity and thirdly, our men, I mean all those army and police on the road, the extortion is too much, we spend N500 on each check point. Some soldiers even collect N1000 each vehicle,” said Shonibare Amos, a truck driver.

Some business owners say the little profit they make is taken away from them but they have to continue with their businesses because they do not want to lose their customers.

“Where I used to pay for N30,000 now they are asking for N50,000 and I can’t bear it so I have to go back to the office and re-plan but on their own side, there is a reason for the increase,” Garuba Audu, a Business owner said.

Business consultant, Bright Ugwu noted that the hike affects per unit cost of goods sold, and impacts on the final consumers.

“So you will find out that it has a multiplying effect, once there is an increase in diesel, it will affect all other parts of the business. These are the things we are experiencing in haulage. I imported some goods last week and what I paid for transporting it from Lagos to Abuja increased. Initially I paid N700,00-800 ,00 per container but now I paid N1m from Lagos to Abuja,” he added.

Business experts are of the opinion that the consistent increase can be attributed to the weak state of the Country’s transport infrastructure as 90% of cargos are transported by road.

 

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