Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Mr Emmnuel Jime, has said that the organization attracted over $80 billion into the economy since inception and contributed to over 60 percent of the entire foreign direct investment that Nigeria attracts.
Jime, who spoke yesterday in Abuja during the 2018 Commerce And Industry Correspondent Association of Nigeria (CICAN) stakeholders conference/launching of compendium, disclosed that under his tenure, NEPZA attracted about $15 billion in foreign direct investment.
According to him in line with its mandate NEPZA has so far licensed 38 free trade zones spread across the country with two of them being public zones like the Calabar FTZ and the Kano FTZ.
He stated that.out of the 38 FTZ while about 15 are at the moment operational, the rest are still under construction. Jime, who was represented by the corporate affairs manager, Mr Simmon Imobo, stated that other strategic goals of the free zones concept were the promotion and facilitation of local and international investment into Nigeria’s licensed free trade zones / special economic zones.
The MD further explained that while some of the free zones later for a specific area of economic enterprise others are more general in nature as there are currently over 300 Licensed Free Zones Enterprises (FZE) operating in the various zones.
He informed that it is under President Muhammadu Buhari that NEPZA received her biggest funding ever from about N50 billion in 2017 and another N50 billion in 2l018.
Jime explained that before now the highest vote was 2 billion and emphasized that the huge capital injection is speaking in terms of huge investments in infrastructure.
On challenges the NEPZA Chief Executive said the outfit had the issue of investor confidence and inter – agency rivalry which has since been surmounted.