April 2, 2023

Why tertiary institutions should key into free trade zone schemes — NEPZA

NEPZA boss promises to use FTZs, SEZs rejuvenate nation’s economy

Lekki Free Trade Zone

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), has urged tertiary institutions in the country to key into the free trade zones scheme.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that keying into the scheme would remodel Nigeria’s tertiary institutions into self-sustaining tourism, learning and business destinations.

While noting that the University of Abuja is on the verge of securing a free trade zones status, Adesugba said that it would provide the capacity needed to turn the natural resources in the university into wealth.

NAN recalls that the Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja in Dec. 2022, sought the support of NEPZA to turn the institution into a special economic zone.

Adesugba said that it would be a game changer for the independence of the university system.

“NEPZA did not hesitate in supporting the partnership between Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the University of Abuja for the infrastructure and business development of the university.

“When the idea to re-model the campus into a self-sustaining tourism, learning and business destination by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. AdulRasheed Na’Allah and ACCI came up, we thought that was the best way to go.

“This initiative is to introduce the newest way to run the university system in accordance with global standards.

“In fact, we are already receiving expression of interests from other universities across the country. We believe this will be the game changer for the independence of the university system,’’ Adesugba said.

The NEPZA boss, however, emphasised the need for a business plan that would drive the process and guarantee its success.

According to him, the most critical thing for us is to ensure that we have the place as a free zone and get it to first class that can be compared to any other in the world.

“We are going to use people within the university to develop something that is going to be a master free zone. ”

Adesugba said that Abuja University could become one of the richest universities in the world through the special economic zone scheme.

“This is because it is a size property, the size of Victoria Island, 10 minutes to airport and 25 munities to Abuja.

“It has mountains, rivers, flora and solid minerals such as gold but it has to be  unleashed for the purpose of development of the university and Nigeria,’’ he said. 

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