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2009-07-01:Fashola woes China

…Says Lekki FTZ is ideal for collaboration

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Tuesday charged the People's Republic of China to consider a relocation of the value added processing advantages and expertise which it has to Nigeria.

Governor Fashola, who spoke when he received the Governor of Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China, Mr Lu Zushan on a courtesy visit to Lagos House, Ikeja, added that China should consider a relocation of the cottage industry experience for which the country is well known .

He added that this would include manufacturing and turning raw materials into finished products and creating job lines and enterprises since the raw materials to be used and the manpower are already here in Nigeria.

He explained that Nigeria is interested in opening up investment that exists here since the continent and the country has become centres for the procurement of raw materials for the globe.
Governor Fashola added that with the increasing volatility and fluctuation in commercial trade and prices, there still exist other options of international trade which Nigeria and China can share.

According to Governor Fashola, the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos is the ideal environment for such collaboration with all the incentives such as tax incentive and security as a place for catalyzing the industrial development and manufacturing base of the country and the state.
He added that any serious economy cannot ignore the number and size of the population of China and market either economically, politically or as a market.

Said he: “I belief that our capacity to do business will be accentuated by how we frequently communicate. We have already started a small pilot project on teaching Nigerian children Mandarin in addition to French language and English. We belief it is a way of preparing them for the future.”
He said Lagos also has a lot of capacity for fish production both in the traditional and mechanized way, adding that the state is also engaged in rice production especially for young graduates as a means of creating opportunities for self employment.

In his words: “We are a state that focuses on our area of comparative advantages which is marine and aqua culture. Your visit will provide opportunities to compare notes and know our areas of comparative advantage.
“Our country also aspires to that position of leadership globally which China occupies and therefore what is happening by your visit which is the first is that borderless nature of our planet is coming to fruition. There are no longer boundaries.”

The governor, who said he has once visited China province of Nanjing accepted the invitation of the Governor of Zhejiang to visit the province, added that he hopes an agenda would be set to identify areas where both state can develop together.
Governor Fashola, who commended the Chinese ambassador for being a good friend of Lagos and for being very business conscious, noted that there are several on-going projects in Lagos State with Chinese collaboration such as the Lekki Free Trade Zone and the rail project.

Governor Fashola said the Zhejiang governor looks quite relaxed as a governor unlike the challenges that those in Nigeria faces, saying it is a reflection of the technological advantage China has.
Speaking earlier, the Governor of Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China, Mr. Lu Zushan, who spoke through an interpreter said his state intends to collaborate with Lagos in areas like textile and construction.
He said he cherished the opportunity to come to Lagos, revealing that he is not unfamiliar with the state as the province already has business cooperation with Lagos.

He said already more than 10 industries are seeking business partners from Lagos in areas of textile manufacturing and processing.
He said his visit will further promote exchange programme in the field of economy and trade, adding that the economy of Zhejiang is very developed in China just as that of Lagos is to Nigeria.

“You have done a lot to contribute to the economic uplift of Nigeria. You have also shown good friendship to Chinese. With these visit we can achieve more good results. I am pleased with the warm reception you have accorded me”, the Zhejiang Province Governor added.

The Governor was accompanied on the trip by senior government functionaries from the Province and the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Xu Jianguo while the Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Sola Oworu, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze and the Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr Dayo Mobereola joined the Governor in receiving the visiting Governor.

Source:The Sun



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