Lagos - Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has described Nigeria as a foremost global investment destination as the German manufacturing conglomerate, BASF Chemical Company, made a re-entry into the Nigerian market after a 10-year absence.
The governor spoke at the inauguration of the BASF Chemical Company late on Tuesday in Lagos.
Fashola, who was represented by his Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Olusola Oworu, said that Nigeria remained a haven for investors in spite of its security challenges.
According to him, the re-entry of the company previously known simply as BASF, remains an attestation to Nigeria’s potential and role in globalisation.
He said that the efforts of the company, which has diversified into construction, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas, among others, would contribute to Nigeria’s quest for sustainable development and people-centred economic growth.
The governor lauded BASF for choosing Lagos as its West African Regional headquarters, noting that the company’s projections would also boost commercial activities in the state and energise the economy.
He said that his government’s commitment to globally accepted infrastructure, improved environment and enhanced security was to sustain the status of Lagos as Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre and attract domestic and foreign investors.
Fashola also identified the construction of the Lagos/Badagry light rail, establishment of Lekki Free Trade zone, Lekki Airport and deep sea port as part of current efforts to develop infrastructure that would facilitate business in Lagos.
Mrs Dorothy Janetzke-Wenzel, Germany’s Ambassador to Nigeria, said that BASF’s re-entry into Nigeria was part of her country’s socio-economic commitment to Nigeria.
According to her, the bi-national commission which Nigeria and Germany jointly established, have identified investments in energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and their economies generally, as well as politics and migration as areas of attention.
The ambassador lauded BASF for its efforts, noting that re-investing in Nigeria would contribute toward actualising the federal government’s transformation agenda.
Kola Jamodu, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said that to attain its set goals, BASF should buy into the federal government’s blueprint.
He urged the company to key into the nation’s effort to raise its manufacturing standards and quality by producing quality goods and tagging them made in Nigeria.
Jamoduwas represented by the association’s Director-General, Mr Olayinka Akande.
Earlier, BASF’s Europe, Middle East and Africa President, Mr Jacques Delmoitiez, had said that their return to Nigerian and West Africa was aimed at maximising the potential for wealth creation.
Delmoitiez said that the region’s potential and Nigeria’s business horizon challenged the company into projecting an overall turnover of two billion euro from its African operations in 2020.
He said that the company achieved one billion euro turnover from its African operations, excluding oil and gas, in 2011.