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NEPZA Secures NIPC Partnership to speed up development of Free Trade Zones

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) in a bid to spike influx of both local and International investors to the 41 Free Trade Zones strategically located in the Country has sought and secured partnership of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) to expedite the process.

In a statement by Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications of NEPZA, the Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba requested and sealed the collaborative effort on Tuesday, 7th July, 2020 when he paid a courtesy visit on NIPC’s Executive Secretary, Yewande Sadiku.

Adesugba said it was imperatively vital for the two agencies to work together in a more robust fashion, adding that such partnership was the antidote to the several encumbrances hindering the smooth operations of the country’s free zone scheme.

“NEPZA is supposed to be on top of its game in terms of promoting investment. The strategies to industrializing the country as it is with other countries must be people friendly. You have to know your stakeholders very closely to meet their needs and make them happy.

“This is the core mandate of both NEPZA and NIPC. The two agencies have been under carrying out this onerous function and this is why we need to work more closely to ensure the country continues to entice investments into those trade locations.

“Apparently over the years, we do not know what had happened to those locations. Those geographical entities by now should be leading the industrialization process because all the incentives are supposed to be there.

“The collaborative efforts we are going to have with NIPC would be magnetic and very inclusive. We understand, that NIPC has the mandate to assist us attract and maintain investments by supporting our service delivery process.

“We are therefore, seeking the cooperation of the Executive Secretary of the commission to carefully monitor us so that the Authority meets the basic tenets of investment promotion. This has become vitally important to position Nigeria to grab substantial portion of world’s investment post Covid-19 pandemic. The world is going to be seeking investments after the pandemic and the process would be highly competitive,’’ Adesugba said.

The NEPZA boss also explained that: “we must change our approach to doing things. This period requires extra-ordinary approaches to grab our share of the market’’.

“From the Private Sector perspective, the greatest hindrance to investment is not government, it is not the President either, the agencies are liable. In fact, President Muhammadu Buhari is desirous of doing going things, promoting investments and thank God, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otumba Niyi Adebayo has long caught the dream of his principal, the president as he continues to insist on us doing the right things’’.

“Let me state here that our greatest problem actually lies with the inability of those who should implement the policies of government to achieve the set goals. We must come to the realization that the public sector which NEPZA is part of was set up to make the private sector thrive and to lead the industrialization process of the country,’’ he said.

Adesugba, therefore, said NEPZA’s main aim under his leadership would be to collaborate more expansively with the private sector and all agencies of government involved in Free Trade Zones and Special Economic Zones to spike influx of investments in the country.

On her part, the NIPC Executive Secretary, Ms Yewande Sadiku expressed delight on the appointment of the new NEPZA boss, as according to her, he is a proven technocrat with the right wealth of knowledge to carry NEPZA to the zenith.

She vowed to support the Authority to ignite the right approaches to attract and maintain investors, adding that NEPZA had a great platform to drive the country’s industrialization to expected end.