After 15 years of abandonment and utter neglect, the Federal Government (FG) has approved the sum of N100 billion for the completion of the Kano Free Trade Zone.
This was made known by the acting Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zone, Authority (NEPZA), Terhemba David Nongo.
“In 1994, General Sani Abacha declared Kano a free zone. But 15 years after, it was not completed. And when Buhari came, only the fence was made. He went to China and was advised to develop the free zone for economic emancipation,” Nongo said.
Further Details: Establishing a Trade Free Zone has always been a priority for the Government according to Nongo. However, Ethiopia had gone ahead of Nigeria to construct three industrial parks for that purpose. This led Nongo to Ethiopia on a quest to understudy the nature of their industrial parks. He stated that the parks stretched over 30 square metres, isolated from civilization with rails as the only medium transport between the zone and the city.
He conducted these findings alongside the former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Okechukwu Enelemah and former Managing Director/Chief Executive of NEPZA, Mr. Jime.
What you should know: The government intends to make Calabar and Kano, an export processing zone, which will create employment opportunities when completed. In order to make this work, the Federal Government has gone on to establish industrial parks in several zones in the country, which will create 350 indirect jobs and yield more foreign exchange.
Nongo said the recent disbursement of funds would surely make the authority succeed. Even though he decried the lack of funds from the Federal Government, he nursed great expectations towards the completion of the zone. He stated that in two years, the organization would complete four trade zones.
Though he cited the issue of power failure as an impediment, he said they would provide 15 megawatts of power at 15 million each, where Calabar and Kano would be the biggest beneficiaries.
NEPZA was established in 1992 following the enactment of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Act 63, of 1992, with the strategic mandate of promoting and facilitating local and international investments into Nigeria’s licensed Free Trade Zones/Special Economic Zones.
The Free Zone scheme envisions diversifying the nation’s economy away from oil, fast-tracking her industrialization, stimulating export-oriented business enterprises and manufacturing, strengthening strategic national economic policies, streamlining administrative approval processes as well as providing a one-stop-shop service for businesses both within and outside Nigeria.