The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, (NEPZA) has called for collaboration with the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, (NIPC) to increase the influx of local and international investors to the 41 Free Trade Zones strategically located in the country.
The Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba made the request when he paid a courtesy visit on NIPC’s Executive Secretary, Yewande Sadiku.
Prof. Adesugba stated that it was imperative for the two agencies to work together in a more robust fashion, noting that such partnership was the antidote to the several obstacles hindering the smooth operations of the country’s free trade zone scheme.
According to him, “NEPZA is supposed to be on top of its game in terms of promoting investment.
“The strategies to industrialising the country as it is with other countries must be people-friendly. You have to know your stakeholders very closely to meet their needs and make them happy”.
“This is the core mandate of both NEPZA and NIPC. The two agencies have been under carrying out this onerous function and this is why we need to work more closely to ensure the country continues to entice investments into those trade locations.”
“The collaborative efforts we are going to have with NIPC would be magnetic and very inclusive. We understand, that NIPC has the mandate to assist us to attract and maintain investments by supporting our service delivery process,” he added.
Prof. Adesugba also sought the cooperation of the NIPC to monitor NEPZA so that it meets the basic tenets of investment promotion.
“This has become vitally important to position Nigeria to grab a substantial portion of the world’s investment post-Covid-19 pandemic. The world is going to be seeking investments after the pandemic and the process would be highly competitive’’. Adesugba said.
“We must change our approach to doing things, this period requires extra-ordinary approaches to grab our share of the market’’.
He added that NEPZA’s main aim under his leadership would be to collaborate more expansively with the private sector and all agencies of government involved in Free Trade Zones and Special Economic Zones to spike influx of investments in the country.
“We are bound to follow what President Muhammadu Buhari has asked us to do to grow the country’s revenue base. So, our visit is simply to seek the support and understanding of the commission to assist us to galvanise the buying-in of relevant agencies and investors to achieve our mandate,” Adesugba added.
Executive Secretary, NIPC, Yewande Sadiku expressed delight on the appointment of the new NEPZA boss noting that he is a proven technocrat with the right wealth of knowledge to carry NEPZA to the zenith.
The NIPC boss promised to support the Authority to ignite the right approaches to attract and maintain investors, adding that NEPZA had a great platform to drive the country’s industrialization to an expected end.
“The commission is ready to support NEPZA to succeed. Such partnership is needed even among all agencies of government as no man is an island,’’ she noted.