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Ogun backs Chinese firm on Free Trade Zone (FTZ) development

•    Says the state is industrial hub of Nigeria

OGUN State government and the New South Group management of the Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Igbesa, have reaffirmed their commitment to provide adequate security and develop needed infrastructure in the zone.

Chairman, New South Group, Mr Chen Yuejin, disclosed at the weekend following a meeting with officials of the state government led by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Taiwo Adeoluwa.

Yuejin, in a statement, expressed appreciation to the Federal and Ogun State governments to ensure a systematic and sustained growth and development of business in the zone, saying the support had in no small way contributed to the smooth operation of business enterprises in the zone.

Yuejin, whose firm, New South Group, owns the controlling shares in the zone, said with the encouragement from government; a lot more foreign investments were being attracted by them to the zone.

“We are already making efforts to attract more foreign investments to the zone, with two of them now in the process of registration, while about 10 new investors from China have begun moves to visit the zone,” he said.

While expressing commitment to the infrastructural development of the zone, Yuejin said, “we have designed our short term planning for the provision of infrastructure neglected by former managers, Zhongful for four years, by building a new main gate, new office building for our staff and resident government agencies, comfortable residence for our staff, well equipped medical centre, leisure and entertainment centre, sports centre and others.

“We are also cooperating with the Ogun State government on the construction and expansion of the road connecting the zone to Lagos.

“We have also discussed with the state government and other relevant security agencies for strengthening the security within the zone to ensure all round safety of property and persons doing business in the zone,” he added.

Speaking further, Yuejin thanked the government of the Peoples Republic of China for providing them the necessary support to run their legitimate business interest in Nigeria.

According to him, “The Chinese government, through a Diplomatic Note 1601, dated March 11, 2016, notified the Ogun State government that the Guangdong New South Group (rather than Zhongfu International Investments) are the ones authorised to manage the Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone.”

Ogun State SSG, Mr. Adeoluwa, while expressing belief in the ability of Guangdong New South Group to develop the zone to the envy of all, said contrary to allegations of arbitrariness, abuse of power and unfriendliness to foreign investors, leveled by former operators of the zone, the state government was indeed investor friendly and happy to work with genuine investors, whether from within Nigeria or any part of the world.

“This, is evident in the number of industries, both local and international, that have since birthed in Ogun State within the last five years. That is why, today, Ogun State is the industrial hub of Nigeria, attracting the highest number of industries in the country,” he said.