Nigerian Free Trade Zone set to grow after decade

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Late last year, Nigeria’s China-backed Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone (OGFTZ) celebrated 10 years of continuous operation and growth. Set about 50 kilometres from Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, it was one of the country’s initial tranche of eight special economic zones to secure funding from Beijing and a project that has since been integrated within the wider framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The zone is now said to generate more than US$234 million in revenue a year, while having attracted in excess of US$2 billion in total investment and provided about 6,000 jobs for local workers. Summing up the significance of the project as its 10th anniversary loomed, Adeniyi Adebayo, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said: “The Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone demonstrates just what special economic zones can do to help the country realise its true industrial potential.”

Set about 55km from Apapa, the largest seaport in western Africa, and some 50km from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, the zone is a joint venture between the Ogun State Government and China African Investment Company (CAIC) – a consortium that comprises the Guangdong Xinguang International Group and China-Africa Investment. Overall, CAIC owns 82% of the joint-venture company, while having 100% management control of the zone and holding a 100-year concession on its manufacturing output.

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