07 July 2013, Abuja – Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, Mr.Oluwagbemiga Kuye has put the total investment generated in the nation’s free zone at N1.6 trillion ($10billion).
Kuye also stated that with the new drive and the various reforms being undertaken in the sector, the investment is expected to be upped to $15 billon, (about N2.4trillion).
So far, out of the 25 free zones in the country, nine are fully operational, six under construction, four in design states and six zones which are largely owned by the states. Kuye who gave the projection while briefing Journalists on his plans and programme for the agency in Abuja, noted that his dream is to transform the agency from its regulatory role to an industrilisation agency.
Giving an update on investment in the zones, he said, “To date, we have $9 billion investment in all the free zones in Nigeria. This is without the $1billion we just successfully gotten through DE. I believe we should be looking at investment in the sector to the tune of $15 billon in the next five years.”
In line with the planned industrilisation status, the MD added that unlike before when the free zone scheme only favour manufacturing, the agency had mapped out four key sectors which would form its major focus.
According to him, the four key sectors include agriculture and agricultural related sector, solid mineral, manufacturing Petroleum and petroleum products and other sectors that have to do with population, like housing. For instance, in the agriculture sector, he stated that the agency is in talks with investors in Netherland to come and set up an agricultural park in Nigeria.