Free trade zones in Nigeria have attracted a total of N18 billion both in foreign and domestic investments in the first quarter of 2023, the Nigeria Export processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has said.
Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba who stated this yesterday in Abuja during an interview with journalists also disclosed that Nigeria has 55 Free trade zones, out of which 30 are functional while others are being refurbished or constructed for operations.
“About 18.4 million dollars foreign direct investment and N9.1 billion local direct investment was attracted by free trade zones in the first quarter of 2023. Also, these free trade zones recorded $17 million international exports and $126.37 billion domestic exports while customs duty collected from these free trade zones amounted to N11.68 billion.
“So far we have 541 enterprises operating in the free trade zones but we need to be more aggressive in making Nigeria’s free trade zones more enterprising as the target is to have at least 10,000 free trade zones. Ogun State and Delta State are already leading the way. This is very important because these zones not only serve Nigeria but also the African continent with over 70,000 jobs being created” he said.
Speaking further, he said NEPZA has approached the Central Bank of Nigeria with a proposal to have a bank administering the operations and transactions at the free trade zones, expressing optimism that the apex bank will approve the Authority’s proposal.
Adesugba said as part of efforts to drive a robust free trade zones operation in Nigeria, the agency is also liaising with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to register and list all functional free trade zones.
“NEPZA is working with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to have speedy listing of companies of free trade zones on the stock exchange. All stakeholders have agreed and we are only waiting for the endorsement of the Federal Ministry of Justice. The plan is to have this achieved within the first 100 days of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”