By Felix Khanoba
The acting Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Mr Bitrus Dawuk, says the Act establishing the agency needs to be amended to give a boost to manufacturing activities in free trade zones in the country.
He said the amendment of the 27-year-old Act has become imperative to meet the dynamic nature of trade zones and reposition them to turnaround the fortune of the nation’s manufacturing sector.
Dawuk, who made this known in a chat with newsmen in Abuja on Friday, said the proposed amendment will be the best bet in attracting more foreign direct investments to the country.
“If I can get the NEPZA Act (amended by the National Assembly) I will be happy. The trade zone is dynamic than just the normal export processing zone.
“It will bring a lot of investments, off-shore banking is also a major component of the proposed Act,” he said.
While stating the commitment of the present management of NEPZA to ensure enabling environment for investors to set up companies in Calabar, Kano, Lagos trade zones, among others, Dawuk commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for its improved allocations to the Authority.
On the controversies that trailed the establishment of Nigeria Special Economic Zone Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO) by the Federal Government, Dawuk said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has set up a committee to resolve all the issues.
The NEPZA boss, who said the agency has stopped receiving overhead cost subvention from government, expressed hope that the organisation may not depend on any government’s allocation two years from now should the NEPZA Act gets amended.
Speaking further, Dawuk pledged to boost the capacity of staff of NEPZA to help achieve the mandate of the agency geared towards boosting the nation’s capacity of exporting products manufactured in the zones and end the nation’s dependence of crude oil as a mainstay of the economy.