By Ruth Omosayin
NEPZA boss congratulates billionaire Aliko Dangote as Buhari sets to commission Dangote Refinery
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has ascribed the huge investment in the Dangote Refinery, one of Nigeria’s flagship free trade zones, to the unrivaled patriotic posture of the African richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Adesugba, also the Chief Executive Officer of NEPZA made this remark while congratulating Dangote on Saturday in Abuja on the completion of the refinery set to be commissioned by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on Monday, 22nd May, 2023.
The NEPZA boss said that the multi-billion-dollar investment was a further testament on the extent the Nigerian billionaire investor could go to contribute its quota to solving the country’s energy challenge.
Adesugba explained that the Dangote Free Zone with diligent supervision of NEPZA successfully bequeathed the country with an enviable global energy infrastructure.
The NEPZA chief executive officer therefore, urged local investors to emulate Dangote by exploring the free trade scheme as a result of its cost-effectiveness and in helping to contribute to the country’s industrialisation process.
“On behalf of myself, management and staff of the Authority, I congratulate Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the entire management and staff of the Dangote Free Trade Zone for the completion and commissioning of the Dangote Refinery.
“Let me also congratulate His Excellency, President Muhammaadu Buhari GCFR for his commitment in delivering a competitive free trade zone scheme for Nigeria.’’ Adesugba said.
He again, advised the state governments who were yet to key into the scheme to do so without further delay, noting that the freezone scheme was the only viable tool the sub-nationals could use in attracting investment and development within their limited tenures.
Also, Adesugba called for the understanding of relevant sister agencies involved in the protection and promotion of the scheme, saying that the current incoherent manner of interferences from different quarters were affecting the smooth running of the concept.
The NEPZA boss, however, expressed delight on the current cooperation from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Department of State Service (DSS), adding that these kinds of friendly handshakes with these agencies were the types that could open the scheme for global competition.
In a related development, Adesugba has described as an ‘unequal’ the support the Authority had received from the Buhari-led administration in carrying out its core mandate of promoting the establishment of free trade zones across the country.
Adesugba said that aside the Federal Government’s approvals of some public Special Economic Zones in Lagos, Kwara, Benue, Ebonyi, Katsina, Gombe states and the earmarking of four International Airports as free trade zones, a total of seven other new private-driven free trade zones were recently approved.
These include: Bonny Kingdom FTZ, Rivers; Hydropolis FTZ, Niger; Premier Industrial FTZ, Rivers; Koko Walness Value Change Resort, Lagos; GC Exports FTZ, Kogi; Ekiti Knowledge SEZs, Ado-Ekiti; as well as Flour Mill FTZ, Lagos.
“It is indeed possible to transform the fortunes of our nation using this scheme, and this administration has unmistakably built the path which we shall use to revive our economy again.’’ The NEPZA CEO said.
Martins Odeh PhD
Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA.
Saturday, 19th May 2023.