The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has said the country stand to gain a lot from the seven new free trade zones projects as it will not only recoup its investments in a short period but will further attract massive Foreign Direct Investments.
Acting Managing Director of NEPZA, Engr. Terhemba Nongo told newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday While appealing for support to ensure that Nigeria reaps the benefit of trade zones, gave an example of Ethiopia, which expended over N100 billion on an industrial park within 12 months and will be reaping 1 billion dollars per year from the investment in no too distant time.
He said the new zones also have the capacity to create about 3 million indirect jobs with the right investments.
According to him, the President has established seven new trade zones; one in Lekki, Ilorin, Makurdi, Sokoto and yet to be agreed location in North-east, South-east, and Ebonyi state, which we are yet to get the site.
“The design of four of the industrial parks is almost completed. We will provide infrastructures in these zones and with the right investment each of the zone will provide a minimum of 50,000 direct jobs and when multiplied by seven, that will be 350,000, and indirect jobs of about 3 million,” he said.
He said the construction of each zone will cost between N50 billion to N80 billion, adding that with right funding, the projects could be completed within two years.
On the Calabar Free Trade Zone, Nongo said about N5 billion will be needed to construct Independent Power Plant to service its activities while about N10 billion will be enough to complete all infrastructural projects in Kano Free Zone.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring more funding for NEPZA, adding that N50 billion was allocated to the Authority in the 2017 budget, with the same feat repeated in the 2018 appropriation.