Senate, NEPZA agree to facilitate Nigeria’s industrialisation

Senate, NEPZA agree to facilitate Nigeria’s industrialisation

The Senate and Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) have agreed to strengthen synergy on their critical roles aimed at expediting the country’s industrialisation process.


Mr Martins Odeh, the Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Friday.


The agreement was reached when the Senate Committee on Industry, Trade and Investment, led by its Acting Chairman, Sen. Francis Fadahunsi, visited the Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, in Abuja.


The statement quoted Adesugba as saying that the role of the Senate and the entire National Assembly in facilitating NEPZA’s efforts to fulfil its mandate was very critical.


“This occasion is very important to me because I am sure you know I have just been recently appointed and this will be the first major interaction that I am having with you distinguished personalities.

“I have no doubt that we will be working very closely with your committee to ensure that NEPZA attains its objective in playing a very critical role in the industrialisation of Nigeria.


“We are all part of the downturn in the global economy, which is also affecting Nigeria; we are looking in-house at the possibilities of NEPZA being a catalyst to propel the economy from where it is now,” he said.


Adesugba said that the negative impacts of the prevailing harsh economic outlook, brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, could be quickly ameliorated, using the free trade zone strategy.


He said that having looked at what was on the ground, especially the Special Economic Zones created by the Federal Government, NEPZA would commence full operations to create the much-needed employment and spark genuine industrialisation.


“I hope and pray that this committee will help to galvanise the required support for the Authority by taking us into consideration when issues relating to assisting us come into play at the National Assembly.’’


Speaking, Fadahunsi lauded Adesugba’s appointment as the Managing Director of NEPZA, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had picked the right person to reposition the Authority for quality service delivery.


“We are happy to be here and with your appointment, we hope strongly with the cooperation of the ninth Senate, things will move, I believe, because you have been an achiever.


“What we need in NEPZA is renovation upon renovation, infrastructural facilities for economic growth; just provide infrastructural facilities and security in the zones that can attract investors and they will come.


“You have to have synergise with security agencies for whatever free trade zone you have created; people should be free to exercise their right there and things will move.


“We are ready to work with the executive arm (of government) and by extension, the Authority, to ensure whatever laws we are going to amend to assist you to bring innovation, which will make you to do things differently, is given priority,’’ he said.


Fadahunsi stressed that the country was losing huge revenues from lack of foresight in the management of the free trade zone scheme.


“There is now a respite that you have come to manage the agency. We expect positive changes in many areas. We shall also support you in the creation of additional or new free trade zones.


“We will support such initiative as it will provide opportunities for our teeming youth population to be gainfully employed. Such development will also help in curbing the current high crime rate.


“On behalf of my distinguished colleagues, we welcome you on board as we urge you to come up with innovations. We are ready to partner with you so that Nigeria can get out of its lingering economy problem,’’ he said.

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