The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila says Nigeria must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialization and manufacturing activities through the free trade zones to survive the African free trade regime.
The Speaker while receiving the newly appointed Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba noted that Nigeria faces enormous challenges ahead of the AFCTA in the areas of manufacturing and industrialization.
According to him “we must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations”.
“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our Export Processing Zones”.
“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks, we will then be fully prepared for AFCTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youth and enhance our foreign earning’’. The Speaker said.
Mr. Gbajabiamila who pledged the total support of the legislature for the revitalization of the free trade zone insisted that there was no choice but to make the free trade zones function productively.
“How can we compete successfully in a post -Covid-19 world and under the AFCTA regime? How can we make Nigeria the number one investment destination? It is mainly by boosting our manufacturing and export capacity we in the legislature will provide legislative and budgetary support to NEPZA to achieve its mandate”.
“I urge the new MD to put on his innovative cap by driving the robust functioning of the zones”, the House Speaker said.
The Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba expressed appreciation of NEPZA for the pledges of support from the House Speaker, noting that such back up will spur him and his team to squarely face the challenging task of enthroning a robust, job-creating and wealth making Free Trade Zones.
“On behalf of NEPZA, I assure Nigerians that we will take the bull by the horn. We will ensure the effective functioning of the zones to generate jobs, wealth, and industrialization in line with the cardinal goals of President Muhammadu Buhari.” He said.
“I passionately share your views on the need for proactive action on industrialization. We truly have no choice as a nation. For us at NEPZA, this is a national challenge and we are determined to discharge this mandate with a deep sense of responsibility”. Prof. Adesugba added.