By Victoria Ojeme
The Federal Government has called for legislative amendment of the 27-year old Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA ) Act, to bring reap benefits of modern day export economy.
The acting Managing Director NEPZA, Bitrus Dawuk, who spoke in Abuja today this weekend said such amendment will give a boost to manufacturing activities in the free trade zones in the country.
According to Dawuk, the amendment has become imperative in order to meet the dynamic nature of the trade zones and reposition them to turnaround the fortune of the nation’s manufacturing sector.
He explained that the proposed amendment will be the best bet in attracting more foreign direct investments to the country.
He said “If I can get the NEPZA Act (amended by the National Assembly) I will be happy. The trade zone is dynamic than just the normal export processing zone.”
“It will bring a lot of investments, off-shore banking is also a major component of the proposed Act,” he added.
While stating the commitment of the present management of NEPZA to ensuring an enabling environment for investors to set up companies in Calabar, Kano, and Lagos trade zones, among others, Dawuk commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for its improved allocations to the Authority.
On the controversies that trailed the establishment of Nigeria Special Economic Zone Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO) by the Federal Government, Dawuk said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has set up a committee to resolve all the issues.
The NEPZA boss, who said the agency has stopped receiving overhead cost subvention from government, expressed hope that the organisation may not depend on any government’s allocation two years from now should the NEPZA Act gets amended.
Dawuk pledged to boost the capacity of staff of NEPZA to help achieve the mandate of the agency geared towards boosting the nation’s capacity of exporting products manufactured in the zones and end the nation’s dependence of crude oil as a mainstay of the economy.