By Joshua Olomu
Abuja, Nov. 5, 2020 Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the organisation is working toward establishing a special economic free zone in Taraba.
Adesugba made this known when Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the initiative is part of Federal Government’s poise to revamp the non-oil sector to contribute more to GDP as the nation works toward diversifying the economy.
Adesugba said that NEPZA would partner with the state government toward ensuring that the free zone was created, considering the vast agricultural resources that abound in the state.
“Free zones all over the world are used to accelerate development and they serve as catalysts for economic development.
“Taraba is the second largest state in Nigeria and we shall work assiduously with the state to create the economic zones.
“I am actually pleased that the state government has created an enabling environment for businesses to strive.
“We will constitute a working group to ensure that this is realised as soon as possible.
“These special economic zones when established will help to ignite activity in the agricultural and mining sectors and jobs will be created for our youths, while government generates revenue,” he said.
Adesugba said that Federal Government’s position was to ultimately deepen its collaboration with relevant stakeholders, especially the private sector in the quest to develop special economic zones across the country.
In his remark, Ishaku congratulated Adesugba for his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of NEPZA, adding that his administration was willing to work with him.
He noted that Taraba had vast potential in agriculture, mining and tourism that could generate revenue for the state and the nation at large.
According to him, the state has the capacity to export beef, tea and other agricultural produce.
“We are ready to work with NEPZA in ensuring that a free zone is established in our state so that the opportunities it offers in agriculture, mining and tourism can be explored.
“We are currently working toward expanding our Airport and that will go a long way in boosting the economic activities of the state.
“Taraba is bigger than some countries in size and have a population of over 3.6 million people, so creating such a free zone will help mobilize our youths and turn them to productive people.
“ So our visit to NEPZA today is a visit of learning, partnership and to say that we are ready to key in all the plans that you have laid down for us,” he said.