Home » News: Nigeria’s Govt. reveals it has 46 of the 240 Free Trade Zones in Africa, says the number may increase

News: Nigeria’s Govt. reveals it has 46 of the 240 Free Trade Zones in Africa, says the number may increase

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NEPZA free trade zones

The Nigerian Government has revealed that Nigeria houses 46 of the 240 Free Trade Zones (FTZ) in Africa, citing that the number could increase further as more states apply for FTZ licenses.

According to nairametrics.com, this was disclosed by Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).

The NEPZA chief said 30 of the 46 FTZs in Nigeria are currently functional. He also responded to claims that Akwa Ibom state had difficulties obtaining a license, emphasising that they never applied for one.

46 FTZs: Adesugba noted that there are more than 1,300 FTZs spread over China and that is what China uses as a strategy to ensure that they develop, adding that Africa can imitate China with Nigeria taking the lead. He said:

. “That is why you see most Chinese groups here, very competitive. We want to do the same thing. In Africa, we have only 240. Under the NEPZA scheme, we have about 46 and I was looking at the number of free zones that are working, and we have 30 of them that are working.

. “The president has just approved some spread over the states without looking at which state belongs to whom. We are still encouraging states, and private investors to consider utilising the scheme and we can assure you it works.”

READ: Africa: NEPZA’s New Managing Director Pledges to Boost Economic Growth and Industrialization, Reviving Free Trade Zones, and Digitizing Operations in Nigeria

Akwa Ibom’s approval: He reacted to reports that the South-South state of Akwa Ibom is currently facing difficulties to apply for an FTZ, citing that, all states in Nigeria have been asked to take part in the free trade zones scheme by applying through the Nigeria Processing Zones Authority, he said:

. “I am not sure we have records of Akwa Ibom applying for any free zone licence and we are inviting them if they so desire to have a free zone.

. “This is because it is our desire to have a free zone in each state of the country regardless of who is the political head. We are talking of the economy, we are talking of Nigeria and we are talking of Nigerians. Poverty does not know a party.
. “The president has been magnanimous, he has treated everybody equally under his economic agenda using the free zone scheme.”

Adesugba added that NEPZA has been working very closely with every state that so desires and currently working with Delta state, adding that they are very happy with the free zone scheme under this regime.

. “We have been working very closely with Sokoto State and very soon we shall start implementing and Borno will soon start off their scheme. It is also on record that Ekiti state has applied.

. “We have been to other states of the country and any state that is receptive to the economic agenda under the free zone scheme we are very happy to accommodate them.
. “We are inviting Akwa Ibom and we will be very happy to work with them if they desire to apply for a free zone scheme and we can assure them that the process will be very fast.”

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