The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, CON has disclosed that private sector Investment in to the Nigerian economy and most especially the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), would drastically reduce government’s financial burden and other associated business risks as well as introduce innovative ideas to the management and operational frameworks of the (SEZs) for improved performance in the areas of employment generation, foreign direct Investment and export promotion.
The Minister stated this at the Inauguration of the Transactions Implementation Committee (TIC), for the reform of Calabar and Kano Special Economic Zones in Abuja.
Adebayo further revealed that currently there are 34 Special Economic Zones in the Country which only 2 (two) SEZs are owned by the Federal Government, namely Kano and Calabar while the rest are either privately owned or joint venture between the private and respective State Government.
He further disclosed that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been pivotal in the Economic Growth and Development of several Countries, namely; South- East Asia and Southern America including China, India, Brazil and Mexico, to mention but a few, using private sector to leverage in Investing in the zones to drive the nation’s Industrialization, Economic Growth and development of the Country.
The Minister added that “The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) was established vide Decree No.63 of 1992 to handle the responsibilities of licensing, regulating, promoting Free Trade Zones in Nigeria”.
The Minister charged members to work assiduously for the accomplishment of the task ahead.
Adebayo was optimistic that the proposed concession transaction of the Zones will cause a major revitalization of the Calabar and Kano SEZs and can serve as a catalyst for transforming them in to World Class Standard and bring about Nigeria’s economic diversification, growth and development.
“This is an assignment of very critical importance and I wish to charge the committee to approach this task with the highest sense of responsibility’’ the Minister added.
Earlier, in her remarks the Minister of State, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum urged the committee members to work quickly and efficiently to meet the set target.
Amb. Katagum further disclosed that this important national assignment is a Presidential directive and therefore, the committee cannot afford to fail.
Also responding, the Director General, Bureau for Public Enterprises, (BPE) Mr. Alex Okoh emphasized the critical importance of carrying out the national assignment saying that Kano and Calabar Special Economic Zones are very important to the Industrial development of the country.
Mr. Okoh stated that the two zones would improve export promotion, a good source for foreign direct Investment and economic growth and development of Nigeria.
Members of the Committee were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFB&NP) and Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) among others.
Deputy Director /Head, P&PRU