The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) says the Federal Government’s desire to concession the Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones (FTZs) is to catalyse business in the West African sub-region.
Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General, BPE, said this would be done through strategic production of goods and services that optimise the vast potential of the industrial axis of Cross River and Kano States.
This was contained in a statement signed by Ibeh Chidi, Head Communications, BPE, in Abuja on Thursday.
The statement said Okoh said this while speaking at a Roadshow organised by the Bureau in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMIT&I) and Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) in Lagos.
Okoh said another expectation of the Federal Government was that the FTZs must move beyond the disjointed clusters of business premises to world-class special economic zones comparable to their counterparts globally.
According to the Director-General, the Roadshow was to showcase the Federal Government’s plan to unlock the potential of two of its assets through the injection of private sector capital, as well as the deployment of technical expertise.
Okoh commended the President Muhammadu Buhari led government for its willingness to improve its service delivery level and infrastructure stock.
He added that the bureau does this by partnering with the private sector in a mutually beneficial relationship that would incentivise private sector investors and deliver economic benefits to the Nigerian people.
Okoh recalled that the bureau had in the last 18 months organised a series of webinars and investors’ fora targeted at the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
He said others targeted were the global investment community; financial institutions and other key stakeholders of the Federal Government’s policy directive on the administration of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria.
The Director-General added that the policy vested the BPE with the mandate to superintend all PPP infrastructure project procurements in Nigeria.
He said the bureau carried out its mandate in collaboration with the MDAs, who owned the assets and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the regulator of concessions in Nigeria.
Okoh said that the event provided an opportunity not only to showcase the two zones but also to interact with potential investors, receive some feedback and provide some clarifications as regards the transaction.
The bureau boss added that the Requests for Qualifications (RfQs) were also ongoing and would end on May 25, 2022.
He assured all stakeholders that activities leading to the successful conclusion of the two transactions would be carried out in line with best global practices, as well as the stipulated ICRC Guidelines.
Managing- Director, NEPZA, Prof Adesoji Adesugba, who was represented by Director, Zones, Muazu Ruma, highlighted the significance of investing in the two FTZs.
Adesugba revealed that free duty, tax exemptions and import substitution drive, among others, were some of the incentives and benefits of investing in the zones.
He assured prospective concessioners of a safe environment.
The transaction advisers of the FTZs, Ernst and Young, represented by Damilola Aloba, said the two-tier concession structure which involves a property holding company and the concessionaire would be adopted for the transaction.
On key considerations and expected outcomes from the concession, Aloba listed funding, rehabilitation, operations, technical know-how, managerial and administrative prowess and maintenance of the FTZs.
He said it had to do with remittances to the Federal Government over the concession period and the development of host communities.