By Gbenga Akanmu & Monsur Olowoopejo
The Lagos State government has saidÂ it requires N105 billion (about $700 million) to develop the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) into a world-class business area,Â just as it said it had paid a total of N785 million as compensation to land owners in the area.
Mrs Sola Oworu, Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure while addressing journalists atÂ Alausa, Ikeja, yesterday. She said the state was partnering with a Chinese consortium to develop the area, noting that the state government cannot on its own raise the funds needed.
According to her, the development of the 16,500 hectares of land has been divided into four phases,Â and that the compensation made so far was for communities in Phase 1, Parcel A, adding that Parcel B would commence shortly.
Oworu also noted that the development would see the provision of road network, power supply, sewage and water treatment plants, which according to her, would attract investors to set up factories and companies within the area.
â€œIt is these factories that would create employment for our people. Without proper infrastructure, we would not attract the right investors,â€ she said.
However,Â some of the community leaders present during the briefing complained that the compensation paid by the state government was meagre, adding that not up to one percent of the contractors on thev site were members of the community.
Responding, Oworu pleaded with them to see the long term gain of the project rather than the compensation paid, reminding them that their communities would benefit immensely when completed.
However, community leaders from Epe, who were present at the briefing also complained that they were not given attention as their area within the LFTZ was also being considered for the siting of an international airport.