The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Olufemi Ogunyemi has called for immediate commencement of infrastructure development in the Centenary Economic City Free Trade Zone, Abuja and the revamping of the Abuja Technology Village to position the Federal Capital City for economic growth and industrialization.
Ogunyemi made the call in Abuja while delivering a paper titled: “ Free Trade Zones: Holy Grail to National Economic Growth and Development at the Abuja Investment Summit.
The NEPZA Chief Executive Officer, represented by Hajia Haleema Kamba, Director, Corporate Services says the two Free Trade Zones located in the FCT were a business ecosystem to catalyse the industrialization of the city.
Ogunyemi, who described the Free Trade Zone Scheme as a global business concept to fast-track economic growth and development, says the president had given him a strong mandate to use it to trigger industrialization across the country.
“The current thinking of the government is that NEPZA can become a more active driver of the economy by effectively using the scheme to attract the much-needed Foreign Direct Investment inflows, ‘’ he said.
Ogunyemi further explained that the Authority was established in 1992 to assist the government in building a smart and industrialised country, adding that the new NEPZA management under his leadership would devote energy towards repositioning the free zone scheme for greater performance.
The NEPZA managing director, who made allusions to some remarkable milestones recorded by the 30 years existence of the scheme, described the business model to be one of the best global economic concepts that opened implausible business opportunities for countries that embraced it.
Ogunyemi further stated that the country’s Free Trade Zone scheme which had some of the best incentives that could be offered globally must be seen as the easiest pathway to economic growth.
He however urged the 36 States Government and the Federal Capital Territory to embrace the scheme as it is the sure route to attracting investment and infrastructure financing.