The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority NEPZA, has issued operational license to Badagry Free Zone on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

This Mega Port project also called the Maritime Africa Economic City, is being developed by a consortium of top local and international companies and promises to be Nigeria’s largest and most ambitious Free Trade Zone.

The Managing Director of NEPZA, Mr. Gbenga Kuye had in Abuja last Thursday, handed the license to the Project Director of the Zone, Mr. Patrick Bird.

Mr. Bird, who spoke shortly after receiving the license said that the event

marks a tremendous milestone in the development of the Badagry Deep Seaport project.

He said: With NEPZA, we intend to develop Maritime Africa Economic City into one of the most successful special economic zones in all of Africa”

“The benefits of having this approval are enormous for our clients and despite the current downturn in the economy, we are still fielding a lot of interests from domestic and foreign companies wanting to set up in Badagry”

The Zone is connected to Lagos by the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which is currently being upgraded and expanded by the Lagos State Government as well as the Porto Novo Creek, allowing for the barging of cargo between the existing port system of Lagos and the new facility.

It is expected to be developed on 1,100 hectares of land with over six kilometres of quay wall, including a container terminal, Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) terminal, general cargo terminals, oil service centre and refined products import terminals.

It will also include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park, warehousing and inland container depot functions as well.

A rail line will also be developed in the future to connect the new Free Trade Zone for even more seamless transit of goods.

While expressing appreciation to the authority for its continued support, the project director said that the project is going to be a great partnership that would benefit the Nigerian nation as a whole.

He listed some of the benefits of the new zone to include 100 per cent repatriation of profits and dividends, various tax advantages, immigration incentives, round the clock operations, and fast track cargo clearance procedures.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had in October said the Badagry Free Zone and Mega Port project would be a major turning point that would go a long way to bring about global growth to Nigerian waters and by extension the nation’s economy.

The Governor also said the project would also complement the emergence of Lagos as the fifth largest economy in Africa.

He however commended the investors for their commitment to the project, which when fully operational, would provide scores of job opportunities for Nigerian youths.

The Governor, while lauding the investors for staying the course with the project, which is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs upon completion, pledged his government’s commitment to ensuring the interests of the host communities alongside a sustainable regeneration and urban renewal of the area.

The Federal Executive Council had on August 3, 2016 granted its approved for the proposed Mega Port and Free Zone.

Many top officials of the government have been speaking on the project following its approval by the Federal Executive Council.

Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, one of such officials said the project will boost Foreign Direct Investment in the country.

Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who lauded Federal Government’s decision to approve the project, argued that the new port ports complex would provide the opportunity for very large vessels that cannot berth in the nation’s existing ports with the economy of large scale that would reduce the cost of shipping in the country.