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Kano, Calabar free trade zones remains FG’s economic approach to industralisation_ NEPZA DG

By Eunice Orike

Managing director ,Nigeria’s export Processing Zones Authority NEPZA’s , Adesoji Adesugba has said the planned concession of the country’s two public free trade zones remains the federal government’s best economic approach to accelerate Nigeria’s industrialisation agenda.

This was disclosed in a statement by NEPZA’s spokesman Martins Odey during a roadshow for the concession of the two zones in Lagos.

The event was organised by the National Council on Privatisation through its secretariat, Bureau of Public Enterprises BPE, with the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment and NEPZA.

It was aimed at further attracting investors and their sundry partners to take up the ownership of the zones.

In his opening remarks, Mr Adesugba said the planned handshake with the would-be concessionaires would positively impact on the operation of the 30-year old public facilities for global competition.

“The two zones are highly viable because of many reasons, including their vital locations, easy access to raw materials, seaports, airports, outside infrastructure, labour and importantly the boisterous nature of the two commercial cities,” explained Mr Adesugba. “The authority is, therefore, available to support and assist the new owners, to speedily surmount challenges that may come with taking up the management of this kind of business”, he said.

He also hinted that the scheme offered a complete tax holiday from all federal, state and local government taxes, rates, customs duties and levies. He said the duty-free on import of capital goods, consumer goods, machinery, equipment and furniture were guaranteed, adding that the scheme also permitted 100 per cent foreign ownership of investments.

Adding that duty on exports into the customs territory was calculated on the value of originally imported component raw materials and not on the value of finished goods.

“The scheme offers permission to sell 100 per cent of manufactured, assembled or imported goods into the domestic market and it guarantees 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profit,“It was imperative for the private sector to now leverage these incentives as the scheme allows them to ride on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA, framework to freely access the continent’s huge market”, he concluded.

Minister of industry, trade and investment Adebayo Adeniyi in his keynote address, said the efforts of the National Council on Privatisation had made the process leading to the concession of the two zones seamless so far.

The minister pointed out that the decision to privatise them hinged on the government’s preparedness to produce world-class free zones that the country could use to solve some of its economic challenges.

“Government’s stance to allow for a transparent process that would bring up virile concessionaires, with the right capacity, expertise and finance to convert the zones to national economic assets, capable of generating employment for the teeming youth and Foreign Direct Investment FDI, is very necessary”, he said.

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