The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has reiterated the need for the deepening of collaboration with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) for a sustainable free trade zone operation.
Adesugba made the remarks at the First Quarter Council Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) on Thursday in Abuja.
The NEPZA boss explained that the country was blessed with a vibrant business community, adding that it was about time NACCIMA members exploited the free trade scheme.
He said the scheme was a global concept that liberalized business environment through various task exemptions, adding that enterprises operating in the zones were less likely to struggle because of the existing safety nets.
According to him, the Federal Government is deliberately and conscientiously investing and improving on infrastructure in both the Kano and Calabar Free Trade Zones for sustainable industrialization and job creation.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration means well for the growth of the economy and he has been consistent with investing on the two public zones. We, therefore, need a sustainable collaboration with the organized private sector for NEPZA to achieve its’s lofty mandate.
“Without sounding immodest, I am a man of many parts, traversing the public and private sectors with a stop-over at this highly revered association, NACCIMA, being also a member. We should be genuinely interested in helping the government and its agencies to development the country.
“Just as I thought I was done with the public sector, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari found me worthy to step in as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPZA on June 26’’.
“ I may be the managing director of NEPZA today, but I want to state for the record that the experiences I had garnered from NACCIMA and other of its affiliate bodies like the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, have continued to assist me tremendously in my current national duty,’’ he said.
Adesugba further said: “I have in the over 100 days as head of NEPZA tried to do that which His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari had sent me to do, which is simply to reposition the Authority to begin to truly drive the country’s industrialisation’’.
“I had, therefore, within this short period engaged the management and staff of the Authority, zones’ operators, some state governors, the organised private sector (OPS) and other stakeholders to reset our thinking towards only ensuring the success of the free trade zone concept in Nigeria’’, Adesugba said.
On her part, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, President, NACCIMA, urged members to explore and exploit NEPZA’s new investment focus which included the Medical and Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Technology, Mining and Tourism.
Aliyu said the need for public and private sector collaboration could not be overemphasized, adding that NACCIMA and NEPZA collaboration would speedily have positive impact in job creation, revenue generation and industrialization of the nation.
The president also expressed delight that the country came out of the needless recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, stating, that the business community controlled by NACCIMA would upscale its support for government’s economic initiatives to make the current positive economic progression sustainable.
Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA
February 25, 2021.