NEPZA, Future Africa Mull Tech-Driven Free Zones
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA and Future Africa, a private firm that provides capital, coaching and community for mission driven innovators are prepared to jointly deploy technology to spark up interests and participation in the country’s free trade zones scheme.
The two organizations had considered the possibility of triggering wider participation of the business community in the scheme when Mr Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Country’s Partner, Future Africa paid Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, NEPZA a courtesy visit on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adesugba said technology remained the quickest accelerator of modern business, adding that the Authority was ready to partner with Future Africa and other of such firms to use technology and innovation in running the country’s 42 free trade zones.
“Nigeria stands out when we talk about innovation and technology in Africa, but we may have to engage in the training of our youth to redirect their psychic to exploit the systems more positively.
“`The youth remain the technology talent hub that we can leverage on to create the wealth for our nation.
“We have a dream of being at the fore front of the industrialization of Nigeria. The free trade zones are supposed to be the foreign countries in our country that relentlessly promote industrialization through creation of wealth, free tax regime, seamless infrastructure and transportation system to drive the process,” the NEPZA boss said.
According to him, the Authority is desirous of establishing more free trade zones to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), supports revenue generation and values for the economy.
“We have discovered that the country needs more free trade zones. The Authority is, therefore, looking at a possibility of creating special environment or zones for constituency projects.
“This, we can do by establishing talent hot-spots for young people, Skill Acquisition Centers and all such job creation out-fits that can ignite production at the grassroots, Adesugba said.
Adesugba further explained that the Authority would activate its four focus areas which included technology, agriculture, solid mineral and healthcare to fast tract the country’s industrialisation process, adding that a synergy with Future Africa would help to drive the process a great deal.
On his part, Aboyeji expressed delight on the “open door policy’’ of the new NEPZA Chief Executive, adding that Adesugba’s appointment only indicated how President Muhammadu Buhari was genuinely prepared to reposition the Authority and the country’s economy as a whole.
He explained that technology and innovation were the backbone of any economy, adding that Future Africa’s collaboration with NEPZA would yield the right dividend in the promotion of the country’s free trade zones.
Aboyeji said the firm had selected Tinapa and Rendezvour located in Calabar and Alaro City free trade zone, Lekki, Lagos respectively to commence the first phase of its operation, as according to him, the company has the intent of making its presence felt in all the zones.
He stated that innovations and possibilities were arising from the use of technology, adding that technology-supported investments in and out of the country would open up an endless stream of global opportunities for a new generation of investors.
Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA
August 5, 2020