26.03.2018 à 14h21
A visiting South African business delegation taking part in a government-sponsored outward trade and investment mission in Nigeria has visited the Lekki free trade zone, a privately-owned free trade zone outside Lagos, as part of a site visit programme, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has said.According to South Africa’s foreign economic representative in Nigeria, Calvin Phume, it was important to expose the delegation to the likes of the Lekki free trade zone to showcase the vast opportunities available across the Nigerian economic sector where the visitors could look into setting up public-private partnerships and joint-ventures.
“Opportunities are abound in Nigeria. South Africa has taken a conscious decision to partner with Nigeria during their development phases and that Nigeria, like most countries in Africa, presents a wealth of business opportunities for South African companies,” Phume said on Sunday.
In fact, the visit was an opportunity to continue pursuing economic collaboration and partnerships with Nigeria, and crafting the way forward for sustainable economic development and the development of investment in the African continent, he said.
Lekki free trade zone general marketing manager Oyewole Adegoke said efforts were being made to market Nigeria by focusing on key economic sectors identified by government.
He was therefore delighted to host a business delegation from South Africa and to disseminate information on current investment opportunities in the free trade zone to South African business people, the official said.
“Our aim is to market Nigeria’s economic potential to investors across the world, as a private organisation working closely with the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority and its stakeholders,” Adegoke said.
Junior Mokgapi, general manager at South Africa’s Dermacell Cosmetics and Healthcare – manufacturers and suppliers of skincare products – said setting up a manufacturing facility in the free trade zone would allow his products to penetrate Nigeria, thereby opening a market into the West Africa region.
“Nigeria is one of the biggest economies in Africa. If one can crack it into the Nigerian market and conduct business, then the rest of Africa has no boundaries,” Mokgapi said.
Business lady Dorothy Mofomme, the founder of Valotech 228 – a supplier of rail signalling design and construction, installation and rail maintenance solutions, electrical installations, and mechanical design – said her main objective for coming to Nigeria was to try to penetrate the market and fill the gaps there.
“We noticed that there is a need for rail infrastructure development, especially with all the critical infrastructure projects and activities going on here.
“Setting up shop in the free trade zone would be advantageous, as all rail, roads, and ports are in close proximity,” Mofomme said.
The South Africans are on their second leg of visiting West Africa, having spent last week exploring business opportunities in Ghana last week.
The total value of trade between South Africa and Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economies, amounted to US$2.3 billion in 2017, according to ministry figures.
Sectors targeted for the mission in Nigeria are agro-processing and agribusiness, furniture and wood processing, infrastructure as well as the built environment professionals.
The programme for the Nigeria mission will include trade and investment seminars, site visits and business-to-business meetings, the ministry added.