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Alaro City welcomes new wave of investments in production, housing in Lagos

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On the one-year anniversary of its launch in Lekki Free Zone, Alaro City announced a new wave of investments in Lagos State, with the commencement of operations of Ariel Foods, a multinational therapeutic food producer, and multi-sector investments in housing, soap and detergent production, construction materials and equipment, media and energy.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu joined American, British, Canadian, Nigerian and Kenyan investors from Ariel Foods, Universal Homes, HMD Africa, Sana Industries, Loatsad, Kenol and ASB Valiant to inaugurate latest indigenous and foreign direct investments in Lagos State.

“I am pleased to witness the start of operations of Ariel Foods, which has built a remarkable facility in less than one year,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.

“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 Nigerian 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 development.

“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.

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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.

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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.”

ASB Valiant and it’s sister company Valiant Energy provides specialized multiple integrated Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC), Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP), Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Mechanical and Energy (Gas & Power) solutions at Alaro City, enhancing the efficiency of growing enterprises in the development.

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Kenol FZE is also located in Alaro City. The firm’s Chairman, Engr 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.”

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Onigbongbo LCDA chair didn’t die from COVID-19, says council secretary

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Following the death of the Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area Chairman [LCDA] in Lagos State, Babatunde Oke, his Chief Press Secretary [CPS] has clarified the circumstances that led to his boss’ demise.

WuzupNigeria reports that the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, said Oke died from COVID-19 complications.

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He condoled with the people of the LCDA and described Oke’s death as a big loss to the state.

But in a press statement, the council CPS, Ishmaeel Akerele, said the council boss did not die from COVID-19.

In the statement titled, ‘Hon Babatunde Oke’s death was not related to COVID-19 complications’, Akerele noted that his boss died “after a brief illness.”

“While we reflect on the passing of a great leader and astute politician, rumour mongers must not use this medium to distract his immediate families and political associates from the peaceful mourning the late Hon. Babatunde Oke deserves,” he added.

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Makinde approves promotion, payment of gratuities to 97 sacked workers

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has approved the promotion and payment of gratuity to 97 civil servants dismissed in 2012.

Recall that the 97 workers were dismissed in 2012 during the administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

The workers were, however, recalled by the present administration of Makinde.

Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, who spoke after the State’s weekly virtual executive council meeting, said that the payment of and promotion of the staff was in consonance with the policy of Makinde administration.

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Olatubosun said,

“97 civil servants dismissed in 2012 were recalled the moment this administration got into office. The executive council, today, approved their rotational promotion and payment of gratuity to the concerned ones among them.

“This is in furtherance of the present administration’s drive to give cause for the working population to be happy for the job they do; it is also a testament to the fact that this is a government with large heart, that caters for the welfare of all.”

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Former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, goes back to school

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Former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is returning to school in the United Kingdom in October.

He is scheduled to start a fellowship program at the African Studies Centre of Oxford University.

Sanusi will be enrolling there as a Visiting Fellow (Academic Visitor) at the Centre for the 2020-2021 academic year.

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Oxford University’s African Studies Centre is one of the world’s leading Centres of African Studies.

According to the Centre, Sanusi intends to use the fellowship to write a book around the theme: ‘Central Bank Response to Global Financial Crisis: A Case Study of the Central Bank of Nigeria 2009-2013.’

This will be based on his experience as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and as a banker and public intellectual.

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Sanusi served as the Governor of the CBN from 2009 to 2014.

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