The managing director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has solicited the intervention of the National Assembly for a sustained appropriation for the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country.
According to a statement by NEPZA’s head of corporate communications, Martins Odeh, Thursday, Adesugba made the call during the defence of 2021 and the presentation of the 2022 budget before the House Committee on Commerce and Senate Committee on Trade, Industry and Investment.
“Infrastructure development in the zones is the ultimate attraction to this concept. We shall not be dissipating too much energy in promoting the concept if the right infrastructures are in place.
“China has about 3000 state-of-the-art free trade zones and has leveraged them to transform its economy to an enviable form. This is indicative of the socio-economic possibilities embedded in this global concept.
“We need to, therefore, rethink our strategies to improve appropriation and funding of the free trade zones if the country truly aims at using it to accelerate economic growth,” he said.
He said further that parts of the country’s economic recovery plans revolved around the development of key special economic zones, adding that the scheme could fix a greater percentage of the country’s dwindling sectors if properly developed.
“The Free Trade Zone Scheme is a wonderful global economic model with the capacity to transform economies, but it is indeed a multi-billion-naira venture. Countries that are reaping from this model continually inject funds into it.”
He noted that the country’s free trade zones had fared much better under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in six years than it fared in the last two decades.