Nigeria’s Export processing zones attracted $47bn investments in 30 years – official

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Abuja, Dec.1, 2022 – Export processing zones in Nigeria have attracted $467 billion worth of investments over the past 30 years.  

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and Sen. Tijjani Kaura, the Chief Executive of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA),  said this at the 30th anniversary of free trade zones scheme in Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

Adesugba said trade zones being regulated by NEPZA attracted over 30 billion dollars investments since inception of the scheme in 1992, while Kaura put the investments attracted by OGFZA since 1996 at 16.6 billion dollars.

He said that the global business model was meeting its objective in fast tracking economic growth and industrialisation.

Adesugba said the decision of the Federal Government to key into this concept had remained legendary as the model had become a key driver of the nation’s economy.

He said that the business enclaves had over 600 enterprises providing 150,000 direct jobs and an estimated 400,000 indirect employments.

The NEPZA boss said that the authority had established Special Economic Zones Dispute Resolution Centre to mediate in disputes among operators in the zones.

“NEPZA has also established Special Economic Zones Security outfit to professionally secure lives and investments in the zones.

“More so, the Special Economic Zones Training Institute, Kano will help bridge the knowledge gap in the free zones scheme.

“The authority also established an automated platform to digitise the operations of the scheme for enhanced efficiency and accountability,’’ he said.

 “In the last 30 years, the scheme is operating under robust fiscal incentives as enunciated in the enabling Act.

“These provisions have enabled the Authority to checkmate attempts by revenue-generating agencies to over reach themselves in collection of taxation and levies,’’ he said.

He said that 13 free zones have been licensed by the current administration, describing the presence of key global enterprises in the zones as a testament to the assertion in speedily contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Notable of these are the Dangote Industries Free Zone, the Deep-Sea Port in Lagos, Lekki Free Trade Zone, Eko Atlantic City, OgunGuandong and LADOL.

Sen. Tijjani Kaura, the Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, said oil and gas free trade zones attracted over 200 companies with over 16.6 billion dollars.

Kaura said that the scheme had created over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs, thereby contributing to local content development.

He, however, said that the scheme had some challenges.

According to him, the scheme in Nigeria is still lagging in delivering key economic developmental indices compared to what has been attained by free zone schemes in other locations.

“Taking cognisance of our comparative advantage in the hydrocarbon sector, Nigeria established the first free zone dedicated to oil and gas in the world.

“This has tremendously contributed to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Income, in an unprecedented manner, Kaura said.

Kaura said that OGFZA was still open to partnership to develop the enormous potential in the mid and downstream sectors in line with the Nigeria’s national development plan.

“This is with immediate emphasis on the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025, while providing model development centres for achieving the agenda 2063 of the African Union in collaboration with other international development partners,’’ he said.(GBN)

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