Government approves N90bn for special economic zones, targets N200bn revenue

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi (left); Chief Executive Officer, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise, Navin Nahata; Nigeria's Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr. Oluranti Adebule and Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman during the commissioning of the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos, South-Western Nigeria.

The Federal Government has approved N90 billion for the development of special economic zones across the country in line with its Economic  Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), even as it targets N200 billion revenue at the end of the concession period.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this in Lagos, South-Western Nigeria, at the flag-off of the Lekki Deep Seaport, noting that the approval was given to fasten economic development through projects such as the Lekki Deep Seaport.

He also noted that the Lekki Deep Seaport project is a landmark project as it targets 4.7 million containers annually when in full operation.

He stated: “With this feat, the Lekki Deep Seaport will become one of the largest deep water ports in our region and serve as a hub for port operations for the whole of West Africa.

“And with all of the plans that they have for developing it, we expect that it will probably be the largest in Africa.

“We expect that the project construction, when completed, will generate up to 170,000 direct and indirect jobs in the economy.

“The promoters, I am told also, plan to dredge the port channel to about 16 meters draft, which is not currently obtainable in any seaport or any port for that matter in the country.

“This in itself is an indication that ships of larger size will now be able to visit the port and greater efficiency in economics of scale will generate significant revenue for the Nigerian economy with Government earning a significant portion of it.”

 Amaka E. Nliam