By Victoria Ojeme, Abuja

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has expressed delight on the several interventions of the Federal Government which have led to the restoration of 24-hours power supply in the Calabar Free Trade Zone, (CFTZ), after 20 years of epileptic supplies.

Adesugba, also the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, made the remark when Chief Saleh Nabib, Chairman, Board of the Economic Zones Association paid him a courtesy visit.

The NEPZA boss pointed the restoration of the 24-hours power supply in the zone occurred while the 25 megawatts power upscaling contract of the place awarded by the Federal Government was yet to be completed.

He added that the feat largely depended on the Authority’s synergy with the PortHarcourt Electricity Distribution Company to ensure the unlocking of the true values of the zone to contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product more sustainably.

He said: We are pleased to announce that 24-hours power supply is now restored in the Calabar Free Trade Zone.

“The Authority is indeed grateful to the federal government’s numerous interventions in this regard and to the Calabar Electricity Distribution Company (CEDC) that now see reasons why the zone should have uninterrupted power supply.

“This development will of course lead to unlocking the value of investments and production activity in the zone,’’ Adesugba said.

The NEPZA managing director also expressed satisfaction on President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment and sustained investment toward the restoration of the country’s public free trade zones, adding that works to upscale power supplies in the Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones were been carried out smoothly.
On his part, Nabib said that the over 20 years of epileptic power situation in the zone stunted the growth of investments within the enclave, adding that only stable electricity in the zone could make the place attractive.

“Our members operating in that zone are now basking in this development and we only hope that this is sustained.

“The new NEPZA management under Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has been magical in providing solutions to some of the teething challenges in zones operation in the country,’’ Nabib said.

In another development, the Authority and the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) have agreed to create awareness on the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in the Free Trade Zones to drive the country’s digital economy.

The two agencies of government, however, mulled this collaboration when Dr Vincent Olatunji, the National Commissioner of NDPB paid the NEPZA CEO a visit on Wednesday.

Adesugba said: “we are excited that this Bureau was established by the president to support data protection in our digital economy. Data is now the life of businesses and we must do everything to ensure its sustainable development. Everything we want to do depends on data processing.

“We pledge to support this effort at the Free Trade Zones (FTZs) where we can have substantial private sector participation. Our advice, however, is that the Bureau should make compliance inexpensive and make breaches highly prohibitive,’’ Adesugba said.

The NDPB boss, therefore, expressed delight on NEPZA’s readiness to activate partnership of zones’ operators with the agency, adding that the move would bolster investments in data businesses and protection in the country.

Olatunji said: “the active implementation of the NDPR began in 2019 and by 2020, 630 data controllers filed NDPR compliance Audit Report, adding that the figure increased by almost 100 per cent in 2021 with about 1,230 audit filings.’’

He also explained that over 8000 jobs were created and the cumulative earnings in the sector was also over 4 billion naira.
Olatunji further explained that not less than 3 million organizations in the country with corporate identity that handled data, saying that the bureau had so far ensured full compliant under the NDPR.

The NDPB boss further stated that the bureau was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on the recommendation of the Hon. Minister of Communication Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, describing the development as that which placed wealth in the hands of all citizens.

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