The federal government has vowed to support activities that will harness the immense benefits of free trade zones (FTZs) to Nigeria’s economy.
The permanent secretary, federal ministry of industry, trade and investment, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, who made the vow on Wednesday, August 4, in Abuja, stressed the importance of exploring investment potential in free trade zones to create profitable and sustainable businesses.
Sani-Gwarzo made the statement at a one-day sensitisation workshop themed, ‘Creating Awareness on the Activities of the Free Trade Zones in Order to Stimulate Investment in The Sub-Sector’,
He said: “As a ministry, we are committed to supporting activities that will help harness the immense benefit of free trade zones to the economy, which is at the core of why the ministry set up a review committee not too long.
“The committee will come up with far reaching recommendations that will upscale activities in the zones, especially now that the export market is growing by the day.
“It is equally important to state that the federal government, through the FMITI is committed to the pursuit of implementing the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan MSME Fund (NESP-F), designed to revitalise and strengthen MSME in Nigeria.”
Represented by Suleman Audu, director, commodities and export department at the trade ministry, Sani-Gwarzo said Nigeria needs to bring the vast opportunities in the free trade zones to the fore, including strategies to harness them for wealth creation and employment generation.
He, however, urged the private sector to key into the enormous opportunities that are accruable with investment at the free trade zones.
Also speaking at the event, the deputy director, export promotion and free zones at the trade ministry, Vivian Ibeku, described FTZs in Nigeria as evolving with enormous opportunities to create employment and promote non-oil commodities.
Ibeku said: “In spite of the evolving positive trends, Nigeria has not maximally harnessed the inherent potential in the sub sector.
“This is because the country is yet to properly take advantage of the true potential of FTZs as an instrument of economic growth and diversification.”