The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has called for the operation of the Enugu Industrial Park Free Trade Zone without further delay.
Adesugba advised on Friday, March 5, 2021 in a tribute to Dr Chris Okereke, Managing Director, Lion Business Park Free Zone Management Company, promoter of the zone, who passed on Tuesday March 2, 2021.
The NEPZA boss said late Okereke was in the forefront of ensuring the establishment of the zone, adding that he (Okereke) had used the Business Park Free Zone Management Company to promote and nurture the zone vigorously.
Adesugba said the news of Okereke’s demise came to him and management of the Authority as a rude shock, explaining that the country, free trade zone family and the investment community had lost a business prodigy.
The NEPZA CEO, therefore, appealed to all interest groups in the zone to ensure seamless commencement of full operation in the zone, adding that they should see Okereke’s death as a sacrifice to ease off all disputes that had subdued the zone from reaching its potentials.
“This is a zone that should boost the country’s power generation, energy conversion, technologies and manufacturing among others. The Authority is concern over its present state. We must make it work.
“The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo is equally concerned and would want an expeditious settlement of all the differences in order to free up the zone to begin to contribute its quota to the National Gross Product without further delay’’, Adesugba said.
In another development, Adesugba said it was about time the country created a healthy competitive environment for foreign investors.
The NEPZA boss said this on Friday while playing host to a Turkish Business Delegation led by Mr Onur Akgul, Commercial Counsellor from the Turkish Embassy in Abuja.
Adesugba explained that he was part of few investment promoters in Nigeria who paved way for the establishment of the Nigerian/Turkish Investment Council years back, adding that the Federal Government was committed to using the Authority to create huge business and investment alternatives.
He expressed delight that the Turkish Government was contemplating having an exclusive free trade zone in Nigeria for its investors and companies.
According to Adesugba, the Authority is committed to assisting in the facilitation of the proposed zone, adding that the country’s desire to stimulate wealth for its teeming population remains uppermost.
Earlier, Akgul said the Turkish businesses were seeking a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Abuja to set up with initial 50 companies in different specialties ranging from construction, furniture, plastic, technology and technical/vocational services among others.