Lekki Free Trade Zone: Lagos Tasks Investors On Community Engagement To Secure Investments

Lekki Free Trade Zone: Lagos Tasks Investors On Community Engagement To Secure Investments

The Lagos State Government at the weekend charged investors in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, LFTZ, corridor to step up their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), to the host communities as that is one of the ways to secure the multi-billion dollars investment in the corridor.

The Government said the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was passionate about the investment in the corridor as it is the future hub of commerce and industry in Africa.

Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Lekki Worldwide Investments Limited, Popson Jaiyesimi who spoke at a 3-day workshop on “Communication and Team Skills in Effective Interfacing on Community Service and Relations” for Stakeholders in the LFZ communities at the La Campagne Beach Resort, Lekki, Lagos, said CSR had become so critical that it could not be neglected by investors willing to secure their investments.

“We have a strategic plan to move Lekki Worldwide Investments limited forward and one of the things we identified is how to get the investors and the communities talking and we decided that there should be a workshop of information sharing between the investors and the communities. We are just the moderators.

“The governor is quite keen on this project because Lekki Free Trade Zone is the future of Nigeria businesses and it is a product of research. The fundamental thing is to make sure that there is security and it comes when the communities are walking in tandem with the investors.

“This is to keep them talking because when you keep the people around the table, they share their fears and sometimes, you find out that it is just miscommunication as there is no issue at all,” he said.

Jaiyesimi added that the state government had understudied the Niger Delta crisis and what led to the agitation, saying that government would find a way out to address the needs of the people in Lekki in order to ensure the projects in the area were not truncated.

“We have found out that we need to get it right, because we have multi-billion dollars investments in that corridor and government has spent so much money in compensation and investment in the corridor. We are interested in knowing what the investors are putting down as Corporate Social Responsibilities to the communities,” he said.

Jaiyesimi stressed that coordinated effort of all stakeholders in matters of CSR was required to ensure that the goal of the Lagos megacity was achieved, thereby guaranteeing prosperity for investors and communities.

“Numerous research findings have shown that CSR requires communication and teamwork for effective interfacing and relationship with host communities; guaranteeing safety and security for business,” he said.

He added that community development projects through CSR must meet people’s hierarchy of needs for lasting appreciation and goodwill, saying that impact assessment was a requirement for sustainability of any community project.

Jaiyesimi stated that government had done a need assessment of the communities and found out that what was paramount among their needs was employment for their children by the investors, but lamented that in some cases their children were not qualified for the jobs.

According to him, conscious efforts should be made by the investors to educate and train children from the host communities on the skills and competency they needed to be gainfully employed in their establishments.

Also speaking, Gokil Rajan, Operational Head, Lekki Free Trade Zone  said that part of its CSR to the communities was in the area of ensuring health, hygiene and sanitation, saying that the organisation had reduced open defecation in schools through construction of toilets.

He stated that the lives of about 10,000 students had been touched while 36 schools in the Lekki corridor had been provided with toilets which had helped in curbing open defecation.

Group General Manager, Corporate Relations, Dangote Oil Refining Company Limited, Yinka Akande, said the importance of community keying into investors’ projects in Lekki could not be over-emphasized as any investor willing to make impact must relate with the host communities in order to secure the project.

He said failure to cooperate with the host communities could impede the project, with the investors losing large chunks of their investments.

A community leader in the area, Ayodele Olayinka said the over 200 communities in the Lekki corridor fully supported government’s effort to develop the LFTZ as it would impact positively on the lives of people in the area.

Olayinka, who is the Chairman, Abomiti Zone in Parcel ‘B’ however, appealed to the state government to give them the land which had been earmarked for them after they were made to relinquish their original land, while describing the LFTZ development as a laudable project.

Lagos State Government Restates Commitment To $2.3bn Badagry Deep Sea Port Project

Lagos State Government Restates Commitment To $2.3bn Badagry Deep Sea Port Project

…Meets APM Terminals Representatives In London

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday met with representatives of APM Terminals to advance the development of the Badagry Deep Sea Port project, restating his administration’s key strategic imperative to creating a friendly environment to encourage private sector participation in driving economic development in the State.

Governor Ambode at the meeting which took place in London, United Kingdom, said the Badagry Deep Sea Port Project with an estimated investment of over $2.3billion would address the infrastructure enhancement and urban renewal agenda of the State.

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), with Country Manager, APM Terminals, Mr. David Skov; Chairman, APM Terminal, Apapa, Chief Ernest Shonekan; Head of Africa, APM Terminal, Mr. Peter Volkjaer Jorgensen during the Lagos State Government meeting with representatives of APM Terminals in London, on Thursday, October 6, 2016. (Back row) With them are Mr. Koye Edu; Chairman, Supreme Offshore Limited, Mr. Chidi Ofong; Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye; Permanent Secretary, Office of Overseas Affairs & Investments (Lagos Global), Mr. Olajide Bashorun and Country Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria, Mr. Uyi Akpata.
L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), with Country Manager, APM Terminals, Mr. David Skov; Chairman, APM Terminal, Apapa, Chief Ernest Shonekan; Head of Africa, APM Terminal, Mr. Peter Volkjaer Jorgensen during the Lagos State Government meeting with representatives of APM Terminals in London, on Thursday, October 6, 2016. (Back row) With them are Mr. Koye Edu; Chairman, Supreme Offshore Limited, Mr. Chidi Ofong; Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye; Permanent Secretary, Office of Overseas Affairs & Investments (Lagos Global), Mr. Olajide Bashorun and Country Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria, Mr. Uyi Akpata.

Governor Ambode, who expressed appreciation on the resolve of the investors to stay the course with the project, said the facility on completion would generate over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs.

He assured that the State Government would spare nothing to see the project to realization, while pledging that the interests of the host communities within the location of the project will be protected.

He said the Badagry Deep Sea Port, on completion, will be the biggest in the African continent as it is expected to sit on a land space of over 1000 hectares.

Speaking on behalf of APM Terminals, Head of Africa, Mr. Peter Volkjaer Jorgensen said the Group was strongly committed to partnering the State Government on the project.

The meeting had in attendance Country Manager, APM Terminal, Mr. David Skov; Chairman APM Terminal Apapa, Chief Ernest Shonekan; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Head of Africa, APM Terminal, Peter Volkjaer Jorgensen; Chairman, Supreme Offshore Limited, Mr. Chidi Ofong; Mr. Koye Edu; Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye; Permanent Secretary, Lagos Global, Mr. Olajide Bashorun and Country Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Uyi Akpata.

 

Lagos State Government Signs MOU With AWIEF On $300m Fund To Empower Women Entrepreneurs

Lagos State Government Signs MOU With AWIEF On $300m Fund To Empower Women Entrepreneurs

Lagos State Government on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) expected to facilitate the process of ensuring that women entrepreneurs have access to $300 million fund to boost their businesses.

The State’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, who disclosed this to journalists yesterday at a media briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, said the $300 million is a women’s Economic Empowerment Fund set aside by African Development Bank (AFDB) for empowering African women.

Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade (middle), addressing journalist on the State Government’s Partnership Agreement with African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) during a Press Conference at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.  (R-L) With him are Executive Director, AWIEF, Mrs. Ify Ugochukwu; Founder/C.E.O of AWIEF, Mrs. Irene Ochem; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Abayomi Kadir and Representative of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Director of Commerce, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji.
Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade (middle), addressing journalist on the State Government’s Partnership Agreement with African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) during a Press Conference at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. (R-L) With him are Executive Director, AWIEF, Mrs. Ify Ugochukwu; Founder/C.E.O of AWIEF, Mrs. Irene Ochem; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Abayomi Kadir and Representative of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Director of Commerce, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji.

Ashade said, “Lagos Women Economic Empowerment Initiative (LAGOSWEEIN) is an initiative designed for the women of Lagos state for the purpose of ensuring entrepreneurial capacity building, business skills upgrade and preparedness as well as to facilitate access to finance and other services within the framework of affirmative Finance Action.

“Today’s signing of partnership agreement is a milestone between Lagos State and AWIEF and all women in the state. This partnership is reaching a major step in line with Governor Ambode agenda for women in the state, towards their strategic economical empowerment.”

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Abayomi Kadir; Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Founder/C.E.O of AWIEF, Mrs. Irene Ochem and Executive Director, AWIEF, Mrs. Ify Ugochukwu during a Press Conference on signing of Partnership Agreement between Lagos State Government and African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Abayomi Kadir; Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Founder/C.E.O of AWIEF, Mrs. Irene Ochem and Executive Director, AWIEF, Mrs. Ify Ugochukwu during a Press Conference on signing of Partnership Agreement between Lagos State Government and African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

The commissioner further explained that the other partnership highlights include training, business coaching and technology transfer of the women through a detailed standard operating procedure.

He assured that the state government will honour its own part of the agreement which is to pay as and when due invoices presented by AWIEF based on mutually agreed budget.

The commissioner noted that exploring the collaborative opportunity in the state to derive maximum benefits for women-owned businesses is indeed a great opportunity for the entire state as it guarantees business and social development, financial freedom for Lagos women among many others.

Also speaking, the founder of AWIEF, Irene Ochem commended the state government for partnering with her organisation in empowering women.

According to her, the biggest challenge women entrepreneur faces is access to fund, which also informed why AFDB came up with opportunities for women to have access to finance.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Abayomi Kadir; Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Founder/C.E.O of AWIEF, Mrs. Irene Ochem and Executive Director, AWIEF, Mrs. Ify Ugochukwu during a Press Conference on signing of Partnership Agreement between Lagos State Government and African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Abayomi Kadir; Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Founder/C.E.O of AWIEF, Mrs. Irene Ochem and Executive Director, AWIEF, Mrs. Ify Ugochukwu during a Press Conference on signing of Partnership Agreement between Lagos State Government and African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

“We are very passionate about women empowerment and partnering with Lagos with the largest business women is a worthy one.”
Ochem pointed out that the fund is for every business women with no restriction of sectors, adding that the partnership is important as it would be about training and capacity building.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rhoda Michaels Fashion Academy, Mrs. Agbeyo Rhoda, expressed concerns about the large number of creative youths in Nigeria yet to put their talents into good use.

She encouraged all the students to be part of the initiative, saying, “If all can be part of this, it will in no doubt grow the economy of this country”.