By Adedapo Adesanya The Lagos State Government has announced a residential and industrial investment worth $250 million aimed at strengthening job creation and boosting the state's economic prosperity. The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, disclosed this at the ministerial press briefing to commemorate Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration's first year in office. She revealed that the project will have 24 companies within the zone whose total value has been estimated to $250 million. She said, \u201cThe companies will engage about 2,050 employees in the first phase of their operations.\u201d According to her, the $250m industrial investment project is a public-private partnership, mixed industrial-residential development where the Lagos State Government owns 40 per cent as land equity while Messrs Rendeavour, Africa\u2019s largest estate developer owns 60 percent. \u201cThe project, located at Epe on a 2,000 hectare piece of land comprises a mix of industrial concerns, homes, offices, healthcare facilities, schools, hostels etc,\u201d she noted. The commissioner disclosed that out of the 24 new companies that will be situated there at various stages of development in the zone, adding that Ariel Foods was the first factory to set up there, opening for business in January, 2020. \u201cAriel Foods is the largest ready-to-use therapeutic food factory in Africa. Its investment in Alaro is a $15 million multi-sector investment, including investment in housing, soap and detergent production. \u201cThe ground-breaking ceremonies for other investors at Alaro City such as ASB Valiant, Starium (BUA Group), Kenol, HMD, Loatsad, Sana and Universal Homes also took place in January 2020,\u201d the Commissioner said. She disclosed that the infrastructure in place includes roads which will open up access to 55 percent of the site, a 1.4 kilometer dual-carriageway asphalt road with four meter median, storm water drains, street lighting and cycling lanes are 90 per cent completed. Mrs Akande also disclosed that the investment in the Lekki Free Trade Zone Development Company is yielding result as $30 million goods were exported in the last 12 months while 19 new companies are at various stages of deployment. The commissioner also stated that the state government through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives remains committed to the establishment of the Fashion Hub and Academy on a 10-hectare land Enterprise Zone at Gberigbe in Ikorodu. She added that it would be a well-equipped centre where everything that has to do with fashion would be made available and the academy would be responsible for training the youth in fashion with world class standard. \u201cInfrastructure such as road network, drainage, walkway, street light including dedicated areas for truck and car parks have been provided by the state government.\u201d Mrs Akande said engagement is currently ongoing with consultants and relevant ministries towards the development of the concept design preparatory for the development of the super structures. \u201cIt is expected that development of super structures in the facility would commence in 2020. The Fashion Hub and Academy will amongst others add value to the fashion sector in the state, assist to further upscale the skills of the old and new fashion designers, create wealth opportunities directly and indirectly as well as establish a cluster that may be a source of revenue for the individuals and the state,\u201d she said.