By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has secured an anchor tenant, Ash Biomedical Diagnostics Limited has invested initial $100 million capital in the production of variety of medical equipment in the freshly approved Medical/Pharmaceutical Special Free Zone in Lekki, Lagos.
In a statement released by Martins Odeh, the Head Corporate Communication of NEPZA, stated that Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA Managing Director, dropped the hint on Thursday after a meeting with the company’s team led by its Managing Director/CEO, Mr Ade Shodeinde in Abuja.
Adesugba said that the breakthrough hinged on the Authority’s relentless investment campaigns and drives across targeted investment potentials within and outside of the country.
The managing director explained that the company had scaled through series of tests and financial evaluations aimed at determining its capacity to carry out the expected tasks.
The NEPZA boss said that Ash Biomedical Diagnostics Limited had a solid investment capital base, adding, also, that the Authority became more convinced with the company’s capacity to deliver on the expectations after being exposed to its famous and worldclass foreign partners.
“Today can only be described as a turning point in our pursuit to bring in world class medical enterprises to the Lekki medical free zone.
“Recall that we announced in March 21 that scores of prospective anchor tenants came to us seeking to establish world class hospitals and pharmaceutical industries in the Lekki medical special free zone with the aim to end the unnecessary medical tourism abroad.
“Let me reiterate that we are indeed opened to bringing into the zone world class pharmaceutical companies to serve not only Nigeria, but Africa and the rest of the world from Lekki. The prospects of the zone are unimaginable and we are glad for securing an anchor tenant that will immediately open up the place for operation,’’ Adesugba said.
Adesugba further said that the Authority was still prepared to relax perceived stringent rules to ensure the comfort of anchor tenants, adding that the future gains that could accrue to investors who dared to first explore the zone usually would out-weigh the initial challenges.
The Lekki medical special free zone remains a business hot-spot with opportunities for other business chains ranging from transport/logistics, electricity, estate development, tourism/hospitality among others.
The NEPZA chief executive officer further explained that investors should prospect similar zones in Katsina and Ilorin, adding that the Federal Government expected the sub-nationals to leverage on all free zone types to fast track the nation’s industrialisation.
In another development, the Authority has agreed to midwife the forthcoming Nigeria (Kano) and Chinese Business Forum aimed at bridging investment exchanges between Nigeria and China.
Adesugba said this when he played host to Mr Wu Bai Cai, Directory Officer from the Chinese Embassy in Abuja.
The NEPZA chief executive officer explained that it was about time Nigeria and China stepped up their economic relations to a more sophisticated height, adding that NEPZA was assiduously working hard to use the free trade zone to ignite development as done by China.
Bao-Cai expressed delight in the meeting, adding that China had not hidden its interest in using its wealth, technology and human capital to assist in the development of the African continent.
He said, the forthcoming forum would be a platform where all areas of investment needs of the country should be evaluated for possible exploration.
“We have many Chinese businesses seeking to set up in Nigeria from where they can serve the rest of the world. Nigeria will become a hub for many Chinese manufacturing companies. For instance, we are looking for avenues to start the manufacturing of electric cars in Nigeria among others
The Kano State Government and Hon. Adamu Fanda, Chairman NEPZA Board are among the long list of the facilitators of the forthcoming forum