By Chika Otuchikere
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Free Trade Board, Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, has called on Nigeria to take the lead to build a strong African free zones so they can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s best.
According to a statement issued by Nigeria Export Processing Authority (NEPZA) Spokesman, Simon Imobo-Tswam, Baafi made the call when he led a three-man delegation from the Ghana Free Trade Board to the NEPZA Headquarters on a working visit where he also called for a strategic partnership, beginning with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NEPZA.
Baafi said, besides being in Nigeria to seek areas of cooperation with the Authority, they were in Nigeria to also urge the famed Giant of Africa to rise to the historic duty of providing leadership for the West African sub-region and Africa at large in the area of free zone innovation.
Responding, the Managing Director of NEPZA, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, expressed the readiness of NEPZA to partner with its Ghanaian counterpart, saying such collaborations were part of the protocols envisaged long ago by the founding-fathers of ECOWAS.
He explained that although the Authority was “initially conceptualized as an Export Processing Zone (EPZ), it has today been saddled with the mandate of anchoring Nigeria’s industrialization way beyond the original mandate because of evolving economic dynamics.”