The University of Abuja and Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have urged the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to set up a free trade zone right on the University campuses.
The Vice Counsellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Na’Allah Abdulrasheed who made this request was speaking at a meeting between UofA, ACCI and NEPZA on Monday. He stated that when this is achieved, it would challenge other campuses in Nigeria to take up same task.
Prof Na’Allah lauded the partnership between ACCI and the University of Abuja while stating they they cannot achieve their goals without working with industry players like the ACCI.
He said the goal of the team is to mobilise young minds for national development while adding that the free zone when established would focus on mining, agriculture, tourism and Nollywood Industry.
“This move became necessary towards empowering students of the University to make them employers of labour after graduation.”
LIn June 2021, the UofA entered into partnership with the ACCI to enhance knowledge sharing, promote innovation and capacity building.
The immediate past President ACCI and Chairman of ACCI/UofA Committee, Prince Adekunbo Kayode in his remarks stated that, ACCI is in total alignment to make our education system sustainable adding that this collaboration will help the institution to be able to raise income and be a Centre for research opportunities.
Globally, universities have initiatives for commercialization. We have laid a foundation for a long time investment with thousands of students on the campus and lots of opportunities and space for development.”
He requested that NEPZA gives support to the initiative and also channel the interest to the government.
The host of the meeting, MD/CEO NEPZA, Prof Adesoji Adesugba stated that commercialisation of activities in Universities is crucial to national development.
He said the proximity of the University is an added advantage calling on other Institutions of higher learning to emulate the UofA on the project for national industrialisation and economic development.
Prof Adesugba also said Universities can lead research to industry, and that can lead to employment opportunities. “It is a value chain where everyone is reached, innovation is guaranteed and value is shared. You must provide appropriate technology, appropriate plan to take charge and UofA can become the richest university in the world if this is achieved.”
On the request of the VC, Prof Adesugba said they would make it a flagship project for this government and set up a committee for its take off.
ACCI, Media/Strategy Officer