Investments in Free Trade Zone, worth 20bn dollars, says Adebayo

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By Goodluck Ikiebe

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, says that estimated cumulative investments in the 30 years of operations of the free zone scheme in Nigeria is $20 billion.

The Minister made the disclosure at the inauguration of the Nigeria Economic Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) new Lagos office named Adeniyi Adebayo house, while stating that the generous fiscal incentives associated with the free zone scheme remained a veritable source of economic development.

According to him, the free zone, in 2021, generated N250 billion in both foreign and local direct investments; N35 billion in Customs duty payments and N65 billion in Local Import/backward linkage. The scheme generated N500 million in Pay as You Earn (PAYE), 25,000 in new employment and 5,000 transfers of skills.

He applauded NEPZA for achieving this feat in such a short time, “as it goes to show that with dedication and the right mix of human capital, of which NEPZA is sufficiently blessed, there are no limits to what can be achieved. The mission is to formulate and implement policies and programmes to attract investments, boost industrialisation, increase trade and exports and develop enterprises.

According to him, “The Free Zone Scheme is one of the prime initiatives of the government, for diversification of Nigeria’s economic base, in order to achieve the vision of growing the economy, creating jobs and generating wealth.

“I urge you not to relent in giving it your best in your service to promote the economic development of our great country, Nigeria,” he said.

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, NEPZA, said that the choice of Lagos as its liaison office was based on pure economic considerations, explaining that 80 percent of the special economic zones is located in Lagos and within 100km of its radius, making the city as the country’s most potent economic gateway. This is our way of bringing NEPZA closer to our investors for sustained customer service, to continually attract and retain investors.