The federal government is working towards using the Free Trade Zone sector to trigger the Nigerian economy after months of docility caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
The Acting Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Mr. Bitrus Dawuk, said this during a webinar conference organised by a Dubai-based free zone training and management consulting company, CTP International FZLLE for selected industry experts across the world.
Dawuk, said the COVID-19 presented both challenges and opportunities for free zones world-wide, but Nigeria is taking advantage of the opportunities to grow the economy.
The NEPZA boss said the Free Trade Zone sector would become the country’s economic powerhouse Post-COVID-19, adding that the current era has challenged the manufacturing value addition of free zone enterprise and disrupted the global supply chain.
Noting that the pandemic presents opportunities in international trade and production as most manufacturers around the world are looking to diversify the supply chains, Dawuk said NEPZA was prepared to explore the current situation by developing robust actionable plans to reposition the country’s free zone for maximum investor attraction and retention in post COVID-19 and Brexit era.
”NEPZA has identified two major opportunities presented by COVID-19: the first is inward production, involving a change in sectoral focus in favour of agro-allied and healthcare, while the second is in the global and regional value and supply chain, involving manufacturing and supply of capital goods to other African countries,” Dawuk said.