By Emmanuella Anokam
Abuja, Aug. 8, 2020 Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), has tasked staff and clients of the agency to work together toward speedy economic recovery.
A statement by Mr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, on Saturday in Abuja, said that Adesugba made the call while addressing officials of the agency during a visit to the Kano Free Trade Zone.
It quoted Adesugba as challenging the staff to make the zones fully functional as NEPZA was key to national economic revival, job creation and Nigeria’s successful outing under the incoming African Continental Free Trade Area regime.
“I have gone round the various factories and I have seen how vibrant the enterprises are, despite the pandemic and funding constraints.
“We all see great products the factories are producing. The products strenghten our hopes that NEPZA is indeed a strong platform toward enhancing the manufacturing capacity of the nation and widening of its export potentials.
“The opportunities and potentials are huge.With several economic zones all over the country, Nigeria has the capacity to prepare its manufacturing sector for the challenges of AFCTA.
“The zones, as we have seen, present a functional model to be capitalised upon to grow the economy, to create wealth and engage our teeming youth,” he was quoted as saying.
Adesugba noted that the model had helped several countries to grow and also seize the opportunity created by the Federal Government of Nigeria in establishing the Special Economic Zones.
Adesugba told the management team that it was time to make the economic zones truly functional by serving as true investors’ service professionals.
According to him, NEPZA must assist investors, including those already on site and those that will be coming.
He warned that NEPZA would scare investors with over-regulation, adding that it must, in real sense, act more like facilitator than regulator.
“Our job is to support the businesses in the zones; we should never constitute hindrance on the path of investors.
“We plead with our sister agencies to understand the free tax and free import duty principle behind all free zones worldwide.
“Nigeria should not be different or else we become less competitive. The Ease of Doing Business Policy of the Federal Government is clear on all these,” the managing director further said.
While commending the investors for patronising the zones, Adesugba assured them that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to deploy the economic zones as a vehicle for accelerated economic growth.
Responding on behalf of staff, the General Manager, Kano Free Zone, Hajia Yagana Hassan, presented an overview of the zone, and listed its achievements and challenges.
She reaffirmed readiness to beef up management services to facilitate more investment and satisfy those already on the site.