By Josephine Isaac
The concession of the Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones (FTZs) will accelerate Nigeria’s industrialisation drive and economic development, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, has said.
Speaking virtually at a roadshow for the FTZs by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), the minister bemoaned the cumulative investment earnings of about $20 billion from the zones compared to others in some African countries.
He noted that 30 years after the FTZs scheme was adopted in Nigeria, cumulative investment has only stood at about $20 billion, whereas in about 30 years when the first free zone was established in Jebel Ali area in Dubai, the UAE has emerged the destination of choice for global trade and investment.
The Director-General of BPE, Alex Okoh, said prospective investors have shown a strong level of interest in the zones, noting that the call was made in April while the deadline for bids submission is May 23.
“Government’s expectations should be the ability to catalyse development in the West African region that would optimise growth and development for Nigeria,” he said.
Managing Director, NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, who was represented by Director, Zones, Muazu Hadi Ruma, stressed that free duty, tax exemptions and import substitution drive, among others, are some of the incentives and benefits of investing in the zones.