By Felix Khanoba
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says it is considering a plan to establish industrial parks in the over 300 Federal Constituencies in the country.
The Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba
made the call when he paid a courtesy visit to the President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Hajia Saratu Aliyu in Abuja.
He said the move would boost the industrialization drive of the present administration.
Adesugba appealed to the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to patronise free trade zones in the country to ward-off widespread business uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement by Head, Corporate Communications of NEPZA, Mr Martins Odeh, quoted Adesugba as saying that the industrialization of the country could be achieved faster if the government and the private sector work together, adding that the agency is ready to deepening the level of investments in the country.
“NEPZA holds a double status as a facilitator and promoter of investments’ free business environment and a regulator that ensures compliance to standards.
“The organization that I head was set up to manage and regulate free trade zones. The free trade zone is the only business enclave now that guarantees nearness to markets dislocated by a strain in global transportation and logistics against devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic as we are aware continues to distort business logistics globally and so, global investors are looking for workable free trade zones to move into. Doing so would guarantee the preservation of the supply chains and their investments”, he said.
Adesugba, therefore, urged the business community to consider patronizing the country’s 42 free trade zones with a view to reducing the negative impact of the prevailing pandemic on their businesses.
“The supply chain management is going to be critical as Covid-19 has changed business logistics, but if we can take advantage of the various incentives which include tax holiday, absence of customs duties and absence of several other multiple taxes charged outside of the zones then our businesses can stay afloat”, he said.
Earlier, the NACCIMA President thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a member of the association as NEPZA chief executive as according to her, the president’s eyes have gone for the best in investment promotion and management in the country.
Aliyu said Adesugba’s commitment to excellence, transparency, due process and probity would make him reposition NEPZA as the pride of the country.