The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has backed the Ekiti state government for establishing Knowledge-based and Agricultural Special Economic Zone in the state.
NEPZA’s managing director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, expressed the Authority’s willingness to license the proposed zone when Governor Kayode Fayemi paid him a visit Friday in Abuja.
He said: “It is very important for us to realise that investments and industries are located in destinations, and in localities. For us to be really industrialised, we have to go down to the basics, down to the local government, down to states. While the federal government will continue to assist and develop policies that will turn states to develop in terms of industrialisation, we should leverage on the special economic zones and free trade zones as have been successfully used in places like China, Dubai, Ethiopia and Turkey.”
According to a statement issued by the Authority’s head of corporate communications, Martins Odeh, the NEPZA boss said “developing economies all over the world are using this strategy to fast track industrialisation and state governors should key into the scheme.”
“I am not surprised that the government in 1992 thought it was a relevant strategy for the country to use. NEPZA will continue to partner with states such as yours to actualise the aspiration of establishing this well thought out Knowledge-based and Agricultural Special Economic Zone for the state.”
Earlier, the governor said he was delighted to meet with the NEPZA boss, adding that it was an opportunity to congratulate him on his new appointment.
He said NEPZA was a very critical vehicle in the country’s quest to attract investments, local production, and industrialisation as revenue generation through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“We all talk about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) all the time, we all talk about creating an enabling environment, but to ensure that these happen, we must think outside of the box in order to drive the process in our localities. It is indeed crucial that we recognise and disaggregate those investments in terms of sub-national opportunities at the state level,” he said