25 February 2021 by MATHEW AYOOLA
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has reiterated the need for deepening of collaboration with the Organised Private Sector, OPS, for a sustainable Free Trade Zone operation in the country.
Prof. Adesugba stated this at the First Quarter Council Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, in Abuja.
The NEPZA Boss explained that the country was blessed with a vibrant business community, noting that it was about time NACCIMA members exploited the free trade scheme.
He said the scheme was a global concept that liberalized the business environment through various task exemptions, to enable enterprises operating in the zones not to struggle because of the existing safety nets.
According to him, the Federal Government is deliberately and conscientiously investing and improving on infrastructure in both the Kano and Calabar Free Trade Zones for sustainable industrialization and job creation.
“ President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration means well for the growth of the economy and he has been consistent with investing on the two public zones. We, therefore, need a sustainable collaboration with the organized private sector for NEPZA to achieve its lofty mandate” Adesugba stated.
“ I may be the Managing Director of NEPZA today, but I want to state for the record that the experiences I had garnered from NACCIMA and its other affiliate bodies like the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, have continued to assist me tremendously in my current national duty,’’ he said.
Prof Adesugba explained that he had in the past 100 days as head of NEPZA tried to do that which His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari had sent him to do, which is simply to reposition the Authority to begin to truly drive the country’s industrialisation.
“I had, therefore, within this short period engaged the management and staff of the Authority, zones’ operators, some state governors, the organised private sector (OPS) and other stakeholders to reset our thinking towards only ensuring the success of the free trade zone concept in Nigeria’’, Adesugba added
On her part, the National President of NACCIMA, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, urged members to explore and exploit NEPZA’s new investment focus which included the Medical and Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Technology, Mining and Tourism.
Hajiya Saratu said the need for public and private sector collaboration could not be overemphasized, stating that NACCIMA and NEPZA collaboration would speedily have positive impact in job creation, revenue generation and industrialization of the nation.
She also expressed delight that the country came out of the needless recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, stating, that the business community controlled by NACCIMA would upscale its support for government’s economic initiatives to make the current positive economic progression sustainable.