By Gboyega Oni
The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has stated that the issue of inactive free zones is something that is of worry to it and is engaging the investors/promoters of the free zones at various levels to see what can be done to salvage them.
The Head of Corporate Communications, NEPZA, Simon Imobo-Tswam exclusively told PortNews.
He noted that the Managing Director of NEPZA, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, was determined that the Free Zone scheme work optimally and that it meets world-class standards.
According to Imobo-Tswam, ‘’the issue of inactive free zones is something that is of worry to the Authority. And the Authority is engaging the investors/promoters at various levels to see what can be done.
‘’So, why are they inactive in the first place? Some are still under construction. Some investors have had their plans slowed down by the recession and its associated ripple-effects.’’
He noted that the Managing Director, Hon. Emmanuel Jime and his management were working to see that all the promoters of the free zones move to the sites.
‘’But the present management is engaging stakeholders to see what can be done. The Managing Director, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, is determined that the Free Zone scheme work optimally, but more than this, that it meets world-class standards,’’ he said.
21 free trade zones scattered across the country were recently declared inactive by NEPZA since they were licensed by the Federal Government of Nigeria to commence operation between the year 2000 and 2018.
The inactive zones are Abuja Tech. Village Free Zone (FCT), Ibom Science & Tech. FZ (Akwa Ibom), Olokola Free Trade Zone (Ondo and Ogun), Living Spring Free Zone (Osun), Banki Border Free Zone (Borno), Brass LNG Free Zone (Bayelsa), Specialized Railway Industrial FTZ (Ogun), Oils Integrated Logistics Services FZ (Lagos), Kwara Free Zone (Kwara), Imo Guangdong FTZ (Imo).
Others are Oluyole Free Zone (Oyo), Koko Free Trade Zone (Delta), Badagry Creek Integrated Park (Lagos), Ibom Industrial Free Zone (Akwa Ibom), Nigeria International Commerce city (Lagos), Ogindigbe Gas Revolution Park (Delta), Centenary City (Abuja), Ogogoro Industrial Park (Lagos), Enugu Industrial Park (Enugu), Ondo Industrial City (Ondo) and Tomaro Industrial Park (Lagos, 2017).
Many of them were licensed by the government to provide science & technology, oil & gas, manufacturing, trading and warehouse, shore-based activities, rig and marine repairs, refurbishment & fabrication, crude oil modular refinery, helicopter services, accommodation facilities, petrochemical, fertilizer, gas processing related activities, financial institutions (local and international) leisure, real estate, shopping malls and corporate business, commerce and leisure.
Other purposes include real estate, shopping malls and corporate business and commerce, marine, logistics, support services for offshore oil repairs and rail cargo transport.