Communities threaten to sack investors at Ogun-Guangdong FTZ   

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 It is no news that President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has resolved to diversify the Nigerian economy with the non-oil sector and exports. The government targets an improved non-oil sector performance and gross domestic product in the 2019 fiscal year and beyond.

But Ejila/Igbesa communities in Ado-Odo/Ota local council of the state, home to the only operational free trade zone in Ogun State, are threatening to send away Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone, accusing them of encroaching on their land, thereby endangering the country’s non-oil sector vision.

The Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone is located in Igbesa/ Agbara industrial hub of Ogun state and is dominated by Chinese investors operating as a business cluster within the zone. The free zone was licensed by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), which allocated 2,000 hectares of land in Igbesa/Ejila communities in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State with a 99-year tenor of operations.

The 2,000 hectare-land allocation was done in 2008 by Ogun State Government with Certificate of Occupancy No. 026765. A tripartite approval was secured from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), and Ogun State government to operate as a manufacturing cluster.

The Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Igbesa, operated by China-Africa Investment FZC, is one of the 14 active free zones with 57 registered companies and over $500 million cumulative investments, offering    employment opportunities for over 10,000 Nigerians in the form of direct and indirect jobs.

The recent threats coming from ‘Omo Onile’, also known as land grabbers, backed by disgruntled members of Igbesa/Ejila communities, have, however, left so much to be desired. The ‘Omo Onile’ are alleged to be backed by the chairman of Land Owners Committee of Igbesaland, Solomon Ajose, as operators allege disturbances of manufacturing … Read More...