How Buhari Allocates Free Trade Zones -FTZs Association
President Muhammadu Buhari has since last year directed the enforcement of equitable distribution of trade and business infrastructures nationwide starting with Ebonyi to strengthen Nigerian participation at the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Association of Nigerian Free Trade Zones has declared.
Responding to new Free Trade Zones (FTZs) recently announced by the management of Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority in a statement by its Director General, Adelowo Stanley, the association noted that Ebonyi was the first to get a new FTZ under the Buhari administration, citing how the NEPZA Managing Director visited Abakaliki on President’s directive in late 2020.
The group quoted Governor David Umuahi as lauding the Federal Government over citing of an FTZ in the state while receiving the MD of NEPZA, adding that the Governor indeed handed over the original copy of the Certificate of Occupancy of the site where the zone would be located to Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA)
The group further quoted Governor Umuahi as saying : “ the Government and the people of Ebonyi State shall forever remain grateful to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for considering the state worthy to be among the six states to benefit from this wonderful initiative.
“We are equally grateful to NEPZA Management led by Prof. Adesoji Adesugba for ensuring that our dream of having a special business enclave like the free trade zone came to fruition. The state will in collaboration with the federal government, NEPZA, the Organised Private Sector, enterprises and investors from across the world ensure that this business ecosystem is developed with world class infrastructure for the benefit of the country’’, Umahi was quoted as saying.
“Aside Ebonyi, we are also aware that Abia is in the process of finalising the approval process. We can confirm that Abia has been approved for an FTZ. Additionally , NPower FTZ Enugu is almost resolving its operational challenges. The management of NEPZA is on top of the matter”, the group posited.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for equal allocation of FTZs to zones in the country, the group expressed appreciation to the Presidency for the allocation of over 35billion naira for the revival of Calabar Free Trade Zone, a major FYZ in Southern Nigeria.
According to the group, the President has studied the paralysis of the Calabar FTZs including the challenges facing investors and has therefore acted to address issues of power shortage and other infrastructural challenges facing the calabar zone.
” The target is to get the old FTZs in Calabar and Kano effectively functioning while setting up new ones in Ebonyi, Abia, Lagos, Kwara , Funtua and others through a private-public sector driven arrangement. We are indeed elated at the passionate committment of Mr President, the Minister of Trade and Investment, the MD Of NEPZA, NEPC and others to industrial revolution through the special economic zones model”, the group affirmed.