The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says Free Trade Zones (FTZ) management companies and enterprises operating within free zones must henceforth increase their production volumes for exports to justify the government’s incentives and waivers that drive the scheme.
Olufemi Ogunyemi, managing director/CEO, NEPZA gave the directive after rounding off his maiden inspection tours of some free trade zones in Calabar and Lagos. He said it was high time the scheme was used to attain a balance of trade for Nigeria.
According to him, the authority was prepared to upscale its monitoring and supervision to ensure that the existing 52 free trade zones along with the over 600 licensed enterprises are supported to boost the economy significantly.
“The Federal Government is on the verge of auditing the contribution of the scheme to the economy. The time has come for all the free trade zone management companies and their enterprises to justify the government’s incentives and waivers.
“Let me, therefore, urge free trade zone owners and enterprises to revert to the original reasons why they were granted licences to operate in these highly incentivised business environments which include but are not limited to high volume exports, employment generation, skills transfer, and foreign exchange earnings.”
He added that the authority was currently intervening in all areas of concern preventing enterprises within the zones from attaining economies of scale in their production lines.
“We will also continue to ensure that the country’s interest remains the fulcrum that drives the scheme,’’ Ogunyemi said.