Industrial Zones that are emerging in the South-West Geopolitical Zone (1)

Ogun State, together with Lagos, is the leading industrial centres, not only in the South-West Region, but also in the whole country. The large population of Lagos, the comparatively lower cost of renting business premises in Ogun State, and the increasing pace of infrastructural development in both states, are factors that have contributed to the fast pace of industrial development in the two states. Known as greater Lagos, Ogun State now stands as the primary industrial gateway to Lagos state; thus, propelling it to emerge as the biggest industrial territory of Nigeria. However, Lagos alone still remains the largest commercial centre with the busiest land, sea and air transportation systems in Nigeria.

Ogun State’s entry into industrial hub prominence began in the period 2003-2011 and advanced from the period 2011-2019 to the present day. The development of modern infrastructure was a deliberate policy step to attract businesses and radically transform the state; moving its economy from being initially federal-allocation (FACC) focused, to becoming the state with the 3rd largest IGR in the Federation.

The Ogun State locality is certainly one of the largest industrial zones in Sub-Saharan Africa, occupying an industrial space exceeding 8,000 hectares. Its industrial fame was brought about by the Ogun State Property Investment Corporation, OPIC. The OPIC-owned Agbara Industrial Estate includes the famous ‘federal Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade (OGFTZ)’.

The OGFTZ has over forty-four (44) operational companies, which represent factory tenants from across the world, with more than 6,000 Nigerian employees and an estimated 100,000 metric tons of cargo moved in/out of the OGFTZ territory daily.

There are over two hundred active companies already existing at OPIC Agbara -Igbesa Industrial Estate, these include Unilever, Viju Industries, African Minerals, Beloxxi Group, NAMPAK-BEVCAN, Procter & Gamble, TGI Group, Nestle, Hayat Kimya, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Olam, GlaxoSmithKline.

In addition to OPIC Agbara, the Ota Industrial Estate hosts the largest core of indigenous manufacturing Companies. Both Dangote Cement Factory and Lafarge Cement also own some of their largest production and distribution centres in the Ibeshe-Papalanto-Ewekoro axis of Ogun State.

The new Flowergate Industrial Park near the Lagos /Abeokuta Interchange is home to Nestle, Olam, CDK Ceramics, Coleman Cables, AbInbev.

Along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, starting from Isheri through to Sagamu, are located at least forty other medium-sized manufacturing companies.

To date, the area continues to attract significant foreign and local investors in the agribusiness and manufacturing sector. With the congestion of the Lagos, OPIC-Agbara and the Ota Industrial Estate, any prospective investors, seeking where to invest, particularly those coming from abroad, should target mostly the border towns to Lagos, ranging from Agbowa lying between Ikorodu and Epe to Ojodu-Berger, lying just after the boundaries of Alausa, cutting into Isheri Olofin, Opic Isheri, Warewa, Arepo, Magboro, Ibafo, Asese and Mowe. These places, when compared to Lagos, are also relatively cheaper and more spacious industrial and residential neighborhoods. The continuing works on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other forms of infrastructure expansions have to a very large extent fueled the growth in these areas.

It is noteworthy that Lagos State and Ogun State recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the joint infrastructure development of the boundary town roads, waterworks, railways, road and waterways, and this has largely improved the growth of these border towns.

In providing analysis for what should be considered the next best destination for Investment in Ogun State, there may be need to bring into limelight a few other towns with proximity to Lagos state. These include:

Isheri-North community, located at the boundary of Lagos and Ogun states. A formerly underserved community, the recent development of road infrastructure has enhanced the prospect of its industrial attraction. Located less than twenty minutes from Ikeja, Isheri has relatively good road infrastructure with the presence of existing estates such as MTR Gardens, LONEX Gardens, Channels TV, and Paramount FM HQs, among others.

Other emerging industrial sites include New Makun City, Simawa, and Redemption Camp, Mowe-Ofad/ “Magodo Phase 3”; in addition to the old Abeokuta, Sagamu and Sango-Ota industrial areas.

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