By Josephine Issac
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and its sister agency, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) have agreed on a more robust collaborations that can unlock the country’s business opportunities.
This agreement was reached on Tuesday when Mr Emeka Offor, the Acting Executive Secretary of NIPC visited Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, NEPZA in Abuja.
The meeting provided both chief executives the platform to share wider business investments plans and area of collaborations.
Adesugba, in his welcome address, described Offor as an astute investment promoter with the appropriate capacity to convert the country’s business opportunities into investment haven.
The NEPZA boss explained that NEPZA and NIPC had long standing relationship, adding that both agencies were prepared to deploy their expertise to unlock the country’s economic potentials.
Adesugba said that the Authority was ready to open its various channels which included the 500 enterprises currently operating in the 42 Free Trade Zones to the commission in order to showcase them to the world.
The NEPZA boss also said that the Authority had in the last one year and half repositioned its operation approaches, stating that the development brought about a re-branded NEPZA that was acting more as investment’s facilitator than just a regulator.
He said that the Authority had prioritized publicity, enlightenment, and sensitization of the public and key stakeholders to appreciate the magnitude of the agency’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The activity of the Authority is critical in fast tracking the industrialization process of the country. The realization of this enormous task propels us to seek collaboration. We are indeed enthused to enter an expanded partnership with the commission to grow the economy.
“All pending agreements and partnership calls between the two agencies to strengthen investment drive and investment promotion must be activated immediately for the sake of our nation,’’ Adesugba said.
Offor on the other hand, said he was grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari who allowed him to superintend over the running of the commission after the exit of the former executive secretary, Ms Yewande Sadiku.
He, therefore, described Adesugba as a rare investment promoter whose expertise was helping NEPZA to become a strong free trade zone regulator and investment’s facilitator.
“I am not surprised by what he (Adesugba) has done so far to turnaround the fortunes of free trade zones in Nigeria because he was properly groomed while he was with us in the commission.
“Our visit today is to share the commission’s programme and plans for 2022 and further seek continued collaboration of NEPZA in the attraction of investment to Nigeria.
“Having listen to the MD/CEO, NEPZA, both agencies are now better positioned to work together to deepen growth of the economy,’’ the NIPC boss said.
He further said: “in the bid to speed up investment drive, the commission is slated to organize stakeholders’ forum in Lagos and Kano and to attend a global investment forum in Dubai this year.’’
Offor explained that the commission was aggressively seeking to unlock investment in the agro-value-chain, adding that NIPC and NEPZA should leverage on existing free trade zones investors and enterprises within the zones to exploit the agro sector.
Head, Corporate Commission, NEPZA
March 2, 2022