FG set to commence FTZs listing on capital market

Plans are underway for the Federal Government to begin listing Free Trades Zones (FTZs) and zones’ enterprises on the Nigeria Capital Market, as part of the efforts to drive increased prosperity and circulate wealth in the country.

This was revealed in a statement signed by Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications on Thursday made available to BusinessDay.

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA); Nigeria Economic Zones Association (NEZA) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), are the key establishments involved in this innovation.

Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director/CEO NEPZA while speaking during a business interface meeting with the Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda on Wednesday said that the prosperity and wealth of the free trade zone would be effectively extended to the investing public through the stock market.

He also explained that the law establishing NEPZA gave it substantial latitude to affect changes that ensured dimensional linkages between the free zone and the Nigerian public for mutual benefits.

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“We are not in this alone, it is a synergy between some key agencies of government with SEC driving the process in order to grant access to the free trade zone community to trade on the Nigeria Stock Market; the best governance structure and framework to drive this innovation is also being worked on,” he said.

Adesugba said the agencies can work together to position the country’s business environment and the stock market for global competitiveness.

“We are about to unleash immeasurable wealth, technology and prosperity into the country’s stock market, It is our desire to convert the country’s business space into a free trade zone as obtained in Dubai,” he said.

In his remarks, Yuguda, said although the initiative aims to pull more players into the stock market net, all grey areas that could act as impediment must be dealt with.

“SEC is interested in the governance structure of the free trade zones enterprises as it is fundamental to the declaration of profits and sharing of dividends; Already, six weeks deadline has been agreed to submit the final draft of the framework and we must work within this period to deliver this big gift to Nigerians,” Yuguda said.

Dinesh Rathi, Managing Director of the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), who is among the team championing this initiative said that the move would allow shares of the Lagos Free Zone, Lekki Deep-Sea Port and the 24 enterprises under zone’s supervision available to the public in the future.

“This system of linking the free zone with the customs territory using the stock market is not new; we are currently sharing the experiences of Dubai, China and India that have been successful with this,” Rathi said.

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