Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has projected that export from Lekki Free Trade Zone is expected to hit over $6 billion (about N2.16 trillion) by 2020.
Ambode made this projection while speaking at the second National Committee Meeting on Export Promotion of the National Economic Council (NEC) held in Lagos on Thursday.
He said it was now important for the country to put in place infrastructure and other initiatives to support other sectors with the view to preparing them for export.
The Governor noted that the state was making efforts to key into areas, citing the development of Lekki Free Zone as a one-stop export processing zone.
“At the end of 2020 when the investment of the Dangote Industries and other Deep Seaport that we are putting in that place will fully come on stream, the export inflows that we are projecting for that place is over $6 billion and that is just the way to go,” Governor Ambode said.
He said through the export initiatives being spearheaded and monitored by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the state government had identified and commenced the process of developing three commodities in which the state has competitive advantage including coconut, fish and vegetables.
“For all the years, if you say oil is 90 per cent of what our economy is all about, if there is a flip in the price of oil, what happens to 190 million people on just one product? So, the idea is this, if in 2050, Nigeria is targeted to be the third largest country in the world with 400 million people and then maybe Lagos population by then will be about 50 million people, then there is going to be a problem if by now we are not thinking about other products.
“And then, who cares about oil anyway when there are people using vehicles without oil and so something must be wrong if we are not thinking 2050 in 2018. We have been speaking about this and it is almost sounding like a broken record but if something goes wrong with oil, what are we doing,” he said.
On his part, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo called on state governments to seriously consider bringing export products in their respective states for the Committee on Export Promotion to look at, saying such was important going forward.
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