The Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) has licensed over 40 zones spread across the country. Making this disclosure at the weekend was the Acting Managing Director, Terhemba Nongo. He spoke in Abuja.
According to him, “NEPZA in line with its mandate has so far licensed over 40 free trade zones spread across the country, which are at various stages of completion level, and are expected to rake in billions of dollars for the country in foreign direct investment (FDI) while at the same time generating millions of direct and indirect jobs.
“The designs of four of the industrial parks are almost completed. We will provide infrastructures in these zones and with the right investment each of the zone will provide a minimum of 50,000 direct jobs and when multiplied by seven, that will be 350,000, and indirect jobs of about 3 million.
For Centenary City (Free Zone), if you go to the zone now you will see a lot of activities. We are very happy we were able to resolve the challenges.”
Expatiating, he said, the Calabar and Kano trade zones are almost set for commencement of full economic activities following the renewed commitment to fund various infrastructural projects in the areas, the resurgence in construction activities in other zones like the Centenary Economic City Free Zone, Abuja, Tomaro Free Zone, Ladol Free Zone, Abuja Technology Village (ATV) Free Zone, among others, has been a great delight to industry experts.
While noting that the construction of each of the new zone is estimated to cost between N50 billion to N80 billion, the country stands to gain a lot from the projects as it will not only recoup its investments in a short period of time but will further attract massive FDI.
The NEPZA boss while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring more funds for the agency recalled that N50 billion was allocated to the Authority in the 2017 budget, with the same feat repeated in the 2018 appropriation.
He appealed for support to ensure that Nigeria reaps the benefit of trade zones, gave a classical example of Ethiopia, which expended over N100 billion on an industrial park within 12 months and will be reaping $1billion per year from the investment in not too distant time.
Some of the active trade zones in the country which are already contributing their quota towards the economic development of the country include the Lagos Airline Service Zone, the Dangote Industries FZ, Ladol FZ, Lagos FZ, Lekki FZ and Nigeria Aviation Handling Company FZ. Others are Eko Atlantic Snakes Island Integrated FZ, Centenary Economic City FZ, Tomaro FZ, Adamawa Sebore Farms FZ and Akwa Ibom ALSCON FZ.
The list also includes Calabar FZ, Kano FZ, Jigawa Maigatari Border FZ, Ogun Guandong FZ, among others.