NEPZA Attracts Over $20bn Investments Into Free Trade Zones – MD
The Nigeria Exports Processing Zones Authority has attracted over $20bn fresh foreign direct investments into the nation’s economy, its Acting Managing Director, Terhemba Nongo, has said.
Nongo, who said this during a workshop in Abuja, explained that the investments were attracted within a period of 25 years covering 1992 to April 2017.
He said during the 25-year period which the agency had been in existence, about 40 industrial parks and over 400 Free Zones Enterprises had been licensed.
The NEPZA boss also disclosed that the agency had been given approval by President Muhammadu Buhari to set up seven new Industrial parks to support the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan of the government.
He said the industrial parks would be located in each of the country’s six geopolitical zones.
He gave the locations where the parks would be sited as Lekki in Lagos; Makurdi in Benue State; Benin, Edo State; Ilorin, Kwara State; Sokoto; Gombe and Abakiliki in Ebonyi State.
He said the government would be adopting three models to stimulate investments in the free zones.
The models are private, public or a combination of private and public partnership.
He said, “These new industrial parks in the works would spike infrastructure development and unleash a new wave of job opportunities for our teeming youths
“It is worth stressing that with every free zone or industrial park licencing, the door is open for serious infrastructure development, and this is in terms of power, water as well as roads and even real estate, and hotels.
“NEPZA has attracted over $20bn fresh foreign direct investment into the national economy since inception and contributed a major percentage of the FDI that Nigeria attracts.”
On the challenges facing the agency, he said the poor state of roads, as well as the absence of a functional rail system and Inland waters ways, were making the transportation of finished goods from the zones to the ports for exports difficult.
He, however, expressed optimism that with the political will shown by the President to improve the processing zones, the agency would take advantage of that move to support the industrialisation of the country.