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Adventure, Government, Tourism

Chief Executive Officer of Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), Mr. Dinesh Rathi, has projected that there will be more than 170,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for Lagos residents when the deep seaport is completed.

He assured Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Friday that commercial operations at the Lekki Deep Seaport in the LFZ will begin in the first quarter of 2023.

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 besides that the maritime project was expected to generate more than 170,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for Lagos residents, it would serve as alternative in an effort to decongest the Federal Government-owned seaports in Apapa.

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.

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.

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Education, LIFE STYLE, M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

The Vice- Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and another botanist, Dr Temitope Onuminya, have won 2021 Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) grants.

Mrs Nonye Oguama, a Principal Assistant Registrar, Corporate Affairs of the institution, made the disclosure in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

According to Oguama, the awards are part of the 2021 Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme, funded by the European Union.

Ogundipe, a Professor of Botany, won a national level grant of 38,000 euros for his project proposal: “Implementation of the Biodiversity Information and Data System for Coastal Ecosystem in Nigeria”.

Onuminya, on the other hand, won an institutional level grant of 18,850 euros for implementation of a BID project proposal: “Expanding the Visibility of the Lagos Herbarium through Digitisation and Mobilisation of Plant Specimen Data”.

”The university of Lagos is rejoicing with them (mentor and mentee) and wishes them successful implementation of their proposals,” Oguama said.

The GBIF, an international organisation with Secretariat in Copenhagen, focuses on making scientific data on biodiversity available through the internet.

It provides  human resources and technical infrastructure enabling publication of and access to large volumes of data gathered over centuries about the earth’s species.

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Government, LIFE STYLE

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has reiterated the commitment of his administration to transit from the “make-use-dispose” orientation of materials utilization to an industrial ecosystem where wastes can be recycled, reused, recovered and re-purposed for other uses.

Dr Fayemi, who stated this at the launch the Ekiti State Recycling Project tagged “Sodotin dowo” (waste to wealth), said the initiative was aimed at changing the perception of Ekiti people towards wastes disposal.

The Governor, who was represented at the event by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Wale Fapohunda, commended the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources as well as the Ekiti State Waste Management Authority for providing a platform for the collaboration with the private sector partners to kick-start recycling project in the state.

He also expressed appreciation of government to the United States Consulate General, Lagos and the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) for collaborating with his government and supporting the initiative in the state adding that the project was aimed to empower students, women and youths to become agents of change in their respective institutions, offices and communities.

Dr Fayemi called on private sector partners to work as a team in order to achieve success in this laudable initiative aimed at repositioning the state for better economic advancement.

“As part of 5 point agenda of this administration, which are enhancing good governance; entrenching social investment; promoting knowledge economy; infrastructure development and agriculture and rural development, through this initiative, we believe that we are building the Ekiti of our dreams by judiciously implementing life-changing programme and projects to engage our teeming youths and students and at the same time changing the perception in the ways of life of Ekiti people. He added.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural resources, Princess Iyabo Fakunle-Okiemeh revealed that Nigeria generate a total of 65million metric tonnes of waste annually and stressed the importance of taking the project serious to enable the state join other parts of the country to achieve effective recycling process.

Princess Okiemeh emphasized the need for Nigeria to reduce the total volume of wastes by embracing paperless activities especially in offices.

In his remarks, the Sole Administrator of Ekiti State Waste Management Authority, Engr. Bayo Kelekun explained that the project would bring about a significant shift to waste recycling .

Kelekun said the project would include process of recovering wastes and reprocessing the materials into functional and useful products such as Jerseys and interlocking as well as reduce the high quantities of plastics, nylons and bottles wastes generating while putting less pressure on virgin materials to produce brand new products.

In his good will message, the representative of the President of International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Consulate General, Lagos, Joseph Iyowese appreciated Governor Fayemi for giving his organization the opportunity to partner with the state government in its drive to join the global Recyclers group.

While reiterating the commitment of the IVLP President to the project, Iyowese assured the state of total support for the project to ensure its full realization.

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has congratulated Mohammed Babajika, Director, Licensing and Authorisation Department of the Commission on his recognition by the League of African Development Students (LEADS)  as ‘’Africa’s Patriotic Personality’’

According to LEADS Africa, Babajika was considered worthy of the award “for his outstanding contribution to Africa’s development and meritorious service to God, humanity and our dear country Nigeria, especially through various national and international assignments in the private/public service and community development.”

Also, the Licensing and Authorisation Department, led by Babajika, was presented with the “LEADS Development Mandate/Service Award” certificate for “pioneering telecom innovation regulations for development in Africa.” The award was “in recognition of the corporate commitment of the entire management and staff of the Commission towards the attainment of its mandate.”

In his congratulatory message, Danbatta said the two awards are a reflection of how well the Commission, through the department, has delivered one of its important functions of issuing operating licences to all telecommunications service providers in Nigeria for economic development, as contained in section 31 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.

The Licensing and Authorisation Department of NCC is saddled with the responsibility of issuing licenses to applicants, through the provision of prompt, proactive and effective licensing and authorization toward independent and impartial regulation of the communications sector in Nigeria.

The LEADS Africa is a youth development group with the core aim of sensitizing young persons on democratic developments in Africa while also recognizing exceptional leadership and performance in this regard.

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