Lekki Free Trade Zone is one of the fastest growing free zones among the world, according to a report by the World Bank.
Lekki free trade zone is one of the essential zones in Nigeria as it is an example of how the governments of two different countries can come together to support each other in this competitive world. This free trade zone is a critical promoter of the development of the two countries, and this has been possible as the Governments of China and Nigeria have come together for the mutual benefit of both the countries.
According to the Lekki free zone master plan, it covers about 155 square km of the eastern part of Lekki, Nigeria and is divided into three parts which are the residential district in the north, industrial district in the middle and the commercial, trading and logistics district in the south-east. In the year 2007, it was officially approved by the Chinese ministry of commerce and heralded as the “Overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zone”.
Presently, 30 square kilometres of this free zone will be developed according to the four phases based on four major sectors of investment. On development, the first sector will represent the commercial service are and will comprise of markets, amusement park, hotel, cultural centre, golf course, hospital and school. The other three sectors would be a general development area in the north, the industrial park in the south-west and the logistics and warehousing area in the south-east. The first phase will be home to manufacturing, warehousing, logistics industries, as well as commercial and trading investors.
The final aim is to transform the Lekki Free Zone into a modern day multi-functional township. It would comprise of proper infrastructure for commercial purposes as well as residential purposes. This would be done by turning LFTZ into a satellite city of Lagos. This city will be suitable both for trading and setting up industries as well as appropriate for taking up residence.
Advantages of Setting up a Company in LFTZ
Support of both the Nigerian and Chinese Governments
The Lekki free trade zone is the result of the help of the government of both China and Nigeria. Since 2006, leaders and officials of both countries have expressed their support to establish LFTZ, and the free zone has been visited quite some times by the officials of both the countries. Both governments are mutually supportive of each other and working towards the development of the free zone.
The free zone comprises of state of the art infrastructure and all supporting services that can be required by a business. The free zone is very near to the city of Lagos (50km) and only 10km from the newly developed Lekki International Airport. The free zone is connected to all the major cities via roadways, railways, airways and waterways. LFTZ consists of its power plant, and there is an abundance of water in the zone, also major mobile telecommunication already has their networks in the region.
Development of a One-Stop Service Centre
The development of a one-stop service centre will significantly decrease the time taken by the various procedures for setting up a business by an entrepreneur. There would be onsite processing of taxes and levies, which would allow the company to commence its business activities promptly.
Secure Business Environment
The LFTZ has its security teams which comprise of trained and well-equipped security personnel. The management would also be erecting a security fence all around the free zone, which would help in creating a sealed and secure business environment. There will also be armed policemen who will be sent by the Nigerian government.
Attracting Foreign Investors
Seeing the various benefits of investing in the Lekki free zone such as he secured business proceedings, fantastic connectivity and numerous other benefits, all the entrepreneurs will want a piece of the action in the free zone.
Quick Approvals and Permits
Speedy and ready authorizations would be given to all the investors in the free zone in all the procedures which a company needs to conduct. This would significantly decrease the time taken to perform a particular process for the company.
100% Foreign Ownership
The laws of the country do not apply to the companies in a free zone. According to Nigerian law, 100% foreign ownership in a business is not possible anywhere in the country except the free zones. The foreigners can also avail 100% repatriation of all earned profits and dividends.
Prohibition of Strikes and Lockouts
By providing the provision of no strikes or lockouts within ten years of the inauguration of the business, LFTZ ensures that there would be no hindrances in the working of a company.
Procedure for Investing in Lekki Free Trade Zone
To invest in the LFTZ, you must take the following steps:
- The applicant must submit the written application to Lekki Free Zone Development Company FZC.
- After the submission of the application, the applicant will receive the “Memorandum of Understanding” which needs to be signed.
2.Registration of the companies
- All the applicants and investors need to complete and submit application forms along with the other supporting documents.
- Applicant must pay a non-refundable registration fee whose amount will be decided according to the investor’s investment industry
- The LFTZ will issue “Provisional Approval Letter” and later the “Operating License” to the applicant.
3.Execution of the Investment Agreement and issuance of land sublease certificate
- Investment Agreement and other necessary documents are to be public- notarized by the applicant before submitting.
- “Land Sub-Lease Certificate” is issued to the investor by LFZDC upon payment of the land lease fee.
- The document received, such as the Land Sub-Lease Certificate and other necessary documents are to be public-notarized.
4.Development and Construction of the Investment Project
- The investor will have to submit the construction plan and design scheme of the investment project in the Zone within six months from the date of issuance mentioned in the “Land Sub-Lease Certificate”.
- LFZDC provides a Letter of Approval for the construction plan and design scheme after performing a review.
- Construction of the investment project is initiated within 12 months from the date of issuance of the Letter of Approval
- The onsite inspection is made before the installation of all the equipment. If all is found suitable, the approval is given.
- Lastly, the investor must apply for a permit to commence production.
By following the process mentioned above, you can easily incorporate a business in Nigeria free zone. It should always be kept in mind that even the smallest mistake while the incorporation of the company may lead to grievous consequences for the company. It is because of this fear you should always take the help of a firm which would help you while setting up a business and will always look out for you. If you are looking for such a firm, then look no more.
Business Setup Worldwide is a firm which has all the solutions for the business problems you face. The professionals in the various teams at BSW will provide you with advice which will be knowledgeable as well as customized according to you and your company. For more details on how to set up your company in a free zone, do contact us – we’d be happy to help.