4 December 2020 By Mathew Ayoola
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba says the Federal Government is laying an enduring foundation for the industrialization of the Country through Free Trade Zones and other economic programmes.
Adesugba stated this while addressing a global business audience via webinar at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Africa Economic Zones Organisation.
The NEPZA Chief Executive Officer who centered his discussion on the Nigerian Special Economic Zones and how the scheme could serve the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCTA, explained that
the Dangote Industries Free Zone, Lekki, Lagos and a host of other private zones with a cumulative investment of over 20 billion US dollar provided the Country with a firm foundation toward realizing its industrialization roadmap.
Prof. Adesugba said the establishment of petrochemical industries, fertilizer companies and Deep Seaports on economic zones had already attracted an inflow of over 20 billion US dollars for the nation.
“The Free Zones concept in Nigeria has come to stay and no matter how challenging the task might be, it is our conviction that within two to three years, some of these investments would come to fruition.
“ Nigeria’s story on using the zones to ignite production, create jobs for our teeming youths, and attract both Local Direct Investment and Foreign Direct Investment is positive and inspiring”
He stated that the Federal Government was working to revamp and make the special economic zones project possible so as to attract the needed investment to Nigeria
The Managing Director reiterated that, President Muhammadu Buhari had special conviction on NEPZA to power the country’s economic growth through the free trade zone scheme, noting that such conviction again was displayed with the recent approval and designation of six economic zones across the Country.
He further stated that the country was on the verge of unveiling its maiden Medical Special Economic Zone next year, adding that a special business area for world class hospitals and pharmaceutical industries would reduce medica tourism which encouraged huge capital flight abroad.
“The medical zone is important especially in this era when the nation and other nations in the world are battling with the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant negative effects on both Africa and global logistics’’, he said.