The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele is confident that the completion of the Lagos Free Zone Port, would help to decongest the Apapa and Tincan Island ports congestion.
Mr Emefiele stated this during an inspection of the project at the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
Mr Emefiele pointed out that one of the biggest problems in Nigeria is congestion at Apapa and Tincan Island Ports which government has been doing everything possible to address.
The CBN Governor noted that the newly established Infraco plans engagement with the Lagos State and the Federal Government about decongesting traffic in the area.
He said with the construction of Lagos free zone, traffic in Apapa and Tincan Island will be a thing of the past.
Mr Emefiele, who expressed regret that the only single road in the Lagos free zone area which is the Lagos-Epe-Lekki road, is already congested with traffic, stressed that it is going to worsen when the Dangote’s refinery which is on that axis starts operations.
The CBN Governor said the Apex bank would be working with Lagos State and federal government to ensure this is achieved.
Emefiele said “N100 billion from CBN intervention under the Differentiated Cash Reserves Requirement (D-CRR) or through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Guarantee loan has been injected to the Tolaram group, a holding company headquartered in Singapore with diversified business interests in consumer goods, fintech, infrastructure and industrials”.
The CBN Governor further said that the Lagos Free Zone is a project of about $2 billion, which is about N1 trillion and the Apex bank has contributed about N100 billion, which is 10 percent of the project.
“You can see we have sown a seed and we have also given support through making foreign exchange available for them to bring in the equipment to get this port operation to work well.
“We will support any entrepreneurs who wishes to do business in Nigeria, we will provide Naira funding and also advise that if your revenue is in Naira you go and take cheap Naira loan instead of dollar, 10 years loan, two years moratorium and single digits interest rate maximum 9 percent.
Mr. Emefiele promised that the bank would ensure it did everything possible to make the environment friendly for companies and businesses to thrive.
The Lagos free trade zone which is being constructed on 850 hectares of land at Ibeju-lekki that was acquired about 15 years ago, is expected to commence operations in September this year.