Free Trade Zones Attract $46b Investment in Nigeria

Export processing zones have attracted $46.6 billion investment, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Managing Director Adesoji Adesugba disclosed at the 30th anniversary of free trade zones scheme. He said Free Trade Zones (FTZs) are meeting their objective of fast-tracking economic growth and industrialisation.  FTZs regulated by NEPZA have attracted over $30 billion investments since the inception in 1992 and Oil and Gas Free Zones have attracted $16.6 billion since 1996, according to Adesugba. He added the zones house 600 enterprises providing 150,000 direct employment and an estimated 400,000 indirect employment.

“To date,” he said, “the zones have attracted over $30 billion investments, which is expected to exponentially increase in the next few years with our sustained incentives and aggressive investment drive across the world. The future is bright for the Free Trade Zone scheme in Nigeria. “And again, we express our profound appreciation to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the approval given for the establishment of six Special Economic Zones and the earmarking of four international airports as Free Trade Zones in 2021.”

Robust Fiscal Incentives

NEPZA has also established Special Economic Zones Security outfit to secure lives and investments in the zones and Special Economic Zones Training Institute in Kano is expected to bridge knowledge gap in the free zones scheme.

“The authority also established an automated platform to digitise the operations of the scheme for enhanced efficiency and accountability,” Adesugba added, per reporting by Nairametrics.

He said the scheme operates under robust fiscal incentives enunciated in the enabling Act, which enabled NEPZA to checkmate attempts by revenue generating agencies to overreach themselves in the collection of taxes and levies,

Tijjani Kaura, the Managing Director/CEO of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, disclosed oil and gas free trade zones have attracted over 200 companies with over $16.6 billion and created more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“This is with immediate emphasis on the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025 while providing model development centres for achieving the agenda 2063 of the African Union, in collaboration with other international development partners,’’ Kaura said.

NEPZA disclosed in 2021 there are over 500 licensed FTZs enterprises across the country. Enterprises in the FTZs include oil and gas, manufacturing, steel rolling mills, pharmaceuticals, food processing, car assembling, and industrial parks.

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