Nigeria’s free trade zones key to industrial take off

Aloysius Umalo,Makurdi

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), says the nation’s industrial take-off is tied to the performance of her Free Trade Zones (FTZs) across the country.

The Managing Director of  Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Emmanuel Jime, stated this while interacting Journalists in Makurdi, the Benue State Capital in North Central Nigeria.

Mr. Jime said much of the successes recorded by the Asian Tigers was a function of the innovative FTZs, and assured that  under his watch, the nation’s Free Trade Zones would be repositioned.

“Our Free Trade Zones (FTZs) must work. Nigeria does not have a choice. The economic miracles or industrial successes of China, Singapore, Taiwan and even Dubai in the United Arab Emirates are tied largely to the innovation of their FTZs. And if it’s working there, it must work here too”, Jime stressed.

The NEPZA boss broke with tradition by reiterating that his public service stewardship is modelled after the examples of late Prof. Dora Akunyili, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and Donald Dukes.

I look at the concept of Local Content with a broader perspective, my leadership models are right here with us as are their landmark achievements”.

“Both the late Akunyili and Ndukwe left lasting impressions at National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) respectively where they served Nigeria meritoriously as chief executive officers“.

Mr. Jime reckoned with the importance of value-adding leadership, pointing out that what Nigeria needs now is a leadership that will speak less and do more.

“I am determined that under my watch, NEPZA will superintend the repositioning and rebranding of our Free Trade Zones. It is a personal challenge, that of the Authority; and it is also the challenge of our generation.”

He maintained that  “As I have said elsewhere, my eyes are set on history.  I have a clear vision of where I want NEPZA to be. I know I won’t be here forever, but while I am here, I plan to transform this place so that it truly becomes the springboard of our over-delayed industrial take-off.

“This is what Nigeria needs now. Nigeria needs to move away from workshops to workouts; we must  deliver on our promises and the mandates of the organisations or agencies or commissions that we superintend”.

Ime N