Save Us From Ogun Government, Chinese Firm Writes Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Save Us From Ogun Government, Chinese Firm Writes Buhari

Amosun; Chinese firm
Posted: Sep 7, 2016 at 6:12 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A Chinese firm, Zhongfu International Investment, operating at the Ogun State Free Trade Zone in Igbesa Town of the state has petitioned the Presidency to wade into the crisis between it and the Ogun State Government. The firm said the Ogun government wrongly sacked it from operating in the zone.

In the petition, signed by Jason Han?, the Managing Director? of Zhongfu International Investments, the firm said it had invested huge amount into the project before the government replaced it with another one.

“I write this letter with sorrow and despair. In 2010 my firm, Zhongfu International Investments (Nig.) FZE (“ZIIN”) came to the Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Ogun State (the “Zone”) as an investor. The Zone was devoid of basic infrastructure for industry. We assisted the then manager (China-Africa Investment Co. Ltd. (“CAI”)) to stabilize the Zone by significant cash investment. By 2012 the project had failed and the Ogun State Government (the “OSG”) terminated the appointment of CAI,” Mr. Han said in the letter.

“At this stage there were only 5 operating tenants of which ZIIN was by far the most significant investor. In March 2012, we were called upon to rescue the project as interim managers. In September 2013, we were granted a permanent arrangement when we entered into a joint venture agreement (the “JVA”) with the OSG and a Nigerian company.”

The official said in pursuant to the JVA, the company agreed to develop and manage the zone in return for a 60 per cent equity participation. He added that the JVA gave them the confidence to invest their monies as a long-term investment.

“After investing over $60 million (Sixty Million United State Dollars) and the Zone is starting to generate a cash flow, the OSG is attempting to unilaterally terminate our contract, force us to abandon our investment and flee for our lives,” the company told the President in the letter.

“Before explaining our situation, let me begin with the positive story that was unfolding in early 2016 before the intimidating actions of OSG took place, and our efforts to expand the Zone and create thousands more jobs came to an abrupt halt. We have made tremendous sacrifices to give the Zone the high profile it now enjoys in the international investment scene.

“This year, we began to see a steady cash flow to the Zone as we attracted many new investors to establish factories in the Zone. We then began the time-consuming process of reaching out to international capital markets to prepare the Zone for financing for massive infrastructure upgrades, seeking an initial estimated $250 million (Two Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars) from the international capital markets for the expansion of roads, electricity, transportation, and housing improvements,” the appeal letter reads.

Mr. Han explained that in the course of company’s fund development efforts in 2016, the management received acclaim from investors in China, USA, Middle East and from renowned institutions such as the World Bank, Harvard, Yale, MIT and John Hopkins universities.

He said the company’s success includes the hundreds of millions of Naira it has generated for the Nigerian Customs, NEPZA and other government agencies. It said it also generated wealth in the surrounding areas of the zone and created over 5,000 jobs for Nigerians.

According to the company, these results have been achieved because of its relentless effort to create a supportive environment for industries and the personal sacrifices it has made. It said since December 2012, the company has worked almost continuously in developing the Zone.

“We felt some satisfaction when The Economist publication did a programme on the Zone that was aired on CNN in March 2016. ?We felt proud when you visited China in April of this year and we signed an MOU with a prospective tenant for a USD 1 billion pharmaceutical park in the Zone,” the company told President Muhammadu Buhari.