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FG seeks amendment of NEPZA Act to ease operations at FTZs

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Oversight visit, to the Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ) in Lagos.

The Federal Government has called for the amendment of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Act to address issues affecting seamless operations of Free Trade Zones (FTZs) across the country.

Chairman Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, Francis Fadahunsi, made the call during an oversight visit, alongside board members of NEPZA to the Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ) in Lagos.

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He said the amendment of the NEPZA Act would close up on all issues for easy operations of FTZs.

While appreciating the various free zone enterprises and the huge revenue generated for the government through agencies stationed in the zone, he specifically commended SIIFZ’s contribution to the growth of the NEPZA in supporting one single free zone authority over the years.

Vice-Chairman of the committee, Ishaku Abbo, who also commended SIIFZ’s investment initiative, stated that the oversight visit was aimed at ensuring consistency in the payment of appropriate revenue into the federation account, through the regulatory body, while ensuring that the free zone operates optimally.

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Speaking on behalf of the board and management of SIIFZ, the Chief Executive Officer, Maher Jarmakani, said SIIFZ has contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy by attracting major industrial investors and manufacturers.

He said the move had brought about mass employment, technology transfer and capacity development to the country.

Specifically, he mentioned that the free zone had contributed through employment generation, infrastructure and investments by registered enterprises in the areas of terminal operations, ship repair, heavy industries, pollution management, fabrication and training among others.

One of the directors, SIIFZ, Yusufu Abdullahi, as a matter of urgency, tasked the committee to put an end to the confusion on free zone regulatory issues.

This, he said, was to assure investors of the safety of their investment “by protecting the current Free Zone Scheme under NEPZA.”

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