The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday commissioned a multibillion dollars investment project in Alaro City, Lekki Free Trade Zone.
The governor, who was represented by a permanent secretary in the ministry of commerce, Bola Balogun, said the project is a testament to Lagos being one of the leading investment destinations in Africa.
”I am delighted to be here for the commissioning of the Ariel Food Factory, the largest ready to use therapeutic food factory in Africa as well as the ground-breaking ceremony of the 500-unit middle-income residential project and the unveiling of seven other projects across key sectors all cited in the emerging Alaro City in the Lekki Free Trade Zone,” said Mr Sanwo-Olu.
”I am pleased to witness the start of operations of Ariel Foods, which has built a remarkable facility in less than one year. I am equally pleased to welcome Universal Homes, HMD Africa, Sana Industries, Loatsad, Kenol, and ASB Valiant to the Lekki Free Zone.
“The confidence of international and foreign investors is a testament to Alaro City as the location of choice for businesses in the Lekki Free Zone and to the ease of doing business in Lagos State.”
A partnership between Rendeavour, Africa’s largest new city builder, and Lagos State Government, Alaro City is a mixed-income, city-scale development with industrial and logistics locations, complemented by offices, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment and 150 hectares (370 acres) of parks and open spaces. Currently, 16 companies are designing or building their facilities, and 3.5km of initial road networks and a modular 50MVA power plant are under construction.
Frank Mosier, Chairman of Rendeavour, said the organisation is building seven inclusive new cities in Africa: in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“As a master developer, Rendeavour invests more than $250 million in each project, creating the infrastructure and living and working spaces that will help sustain and accelerate Africa’s economic growth, meet the aspirations of Africa’s burgeoning middle classes, and serve as a catalyst for further urban
“When we launched Alaro City one year ago, we promised to deliver investment and jobs to Lagos State and Nigeria, so it is with great pleasure that we welcome a major food producer and housing developer to Alaro City. Global, regional and local companies are building facilities in Alaro City, taking advantage of its ideal location for transport and logistics, free zone status, secure land title and high-quality infrastructure.”
Ariel Foods – with its sister company Insta Products (Kenya) – is a top supplier to UNICEF and World Food Programme globally. Nearly half of all deaths in children under five years can be attributed to malnutrition. Ariel Foods is a leader in combatting malnutrition in children, which can lead to poor cognitive development, learning capacities and increased risk of mortality.
Ariel Foods Chairman, Dhiren Chandaria, said: “Ariel Foods is proud to expand its production to Nigeria, and to play a major role in food and population security in West Africa through the production of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods to feed malnourished children and to supplement the diets of persons with special nutrition requirements.”
John Latham, the Executive Director of Universal Homes, said: “With 2,000 homes completed and under construction in Kenya, Universal Homes is bringing its high- quality, accessibly priced apartments to Nigeria, in partnership with Alaro City. We are pleased to play a role in the housing agenda of Lagos State and to be the pioneer residential development in Lekki Free Zone surrounded by amenities like shops, schools and healthcare."
According to him, the first phase of Unity Homes at Alaro City will feature up to 500 apartments, starting at USD 55,000 (₦20 million), with future phases expanding the project to 2,000 apartments.
Another company located at Alaro City, Sana Industries, is developing its 43,000 sqm site as a multi-building manufacturing campus for products serving the needs of Nigeria’s rapidly expanding economy. Products will include concrete blocks and pre-formed paving products; a range of environmentally friendly foam-cored “sandwich panels”; construction chemicals and coatings; and industrial doors.
“Sana Industries’ decision to locate in Alaro City was deliberate, because we want to grow our business in a modern, integrated community, with a full range of essential services such as roadways, electricity, water and waste removal,” said Alaa Alghadban, the Founder of Sana Industries.
HMD Africa, another investor in Alaro City, plans to establish a distribution centre in the city’s light industrial district for heavy machinery, equipment and spare parts for West Africa, as well as a training academy to promote the development of technical skills in the industry. HMD is a specialised distributor of machinery for mining, construction, earthmoving, asphalt, roadwork, recycling, warehousing and agricultural industries, in addition to aftersales services and spare parts.
“At HMD Africa, we believe in being located at the heart of things, and there’s no better way to achieve this than growing our business in Alaro City, within Lekki Free Zone’s business-friendly environment,” said Matthew Khouri, the Africa CEO of the company.
Ayodele Ikumapayi is the CEO of ASB Valiant, one of the companies that will operate from Alaro City.
“ASB Valiant’s end-to-end virtual ‘LNG to power’ solution guarantees reliable, cost-effective and sustainable services to operators within Alaro City, with stable energy tariffs,” he said. “Our fully operational base provides one-stop access to a comprehensive range of solutions for businesses and individuals at Alaro City.”
Kenol FZE is also located in Alaro City. The firm’s Chairman, Olu Ogunduyile said: “Alaro City is an ideal location for our new transformer manufacturing factory, in conjunction with our Turkish technical partner, MEKSAN, from where we will tap into Lekki Free Zone’s business-friendly environment and benefits.
“The strategic expansion of Kenol FZE, with its parent company Kenol Nigeria Limited will give the companies a platform for cutting edge electrical and mechanical engineering services throughout the Lekki Free Zone.”
Seyi Tinubu, the CEO of Loatsad Promomedia, said the choice of Alaro City was strategic.
“Just as Loatsad Promomedia strives to deliver exceptional advertising services to its clients across Nigeria, Alaro City is delivering an exceptional city, with world-class infrastructure and master-planned living and working areas free from the congestion of Lagos,” he said. “From Alaro City, Loatsad Promomedia will operate a specialized outdoor and digital products and services business catering to clients in the Lekki Free Zone.”