Investors worried over Kano Free Trade Zone concession plan
Local investors and manufacturers at the Federal government-owned Kano Free Trade Zone have raised concern over the concession plan of the vast industrial area.
The worries hinged on the possibility of losing an avalanche of opportunities and economic benefits they currently enjoy in the free zone when private owners eventually take ownership.
The Kano and Calabar zones under the management of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) are put up for concession by the National Council on Privatisation.
The plan was approved in June 2018 under a special economic zones plan where a new concession arrangement strategy was unfolded for the two zones. Under the new arrangement, five out of nine firms that subscribed to the management of Kano and Calabar Free Trade zones have been shortlisted.
Dissatisfied with the development, the Managing Director, Marshal Foods, Umar Marshal lamented that investors in the zone are curious to know the position of the government on the concession.
Marshal at a meeting held with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo in Kano raised concern about the economic loss incurred on energy due to absence of power supply.
On his part, the managing director, Hajara Ihsan Limited, Aminu Uba Miko, sought Federal Government’s financial intervention through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grow local businesses in Kano.
He stressed that private investors operating in the zone have the potential to contribute immensely to the economic challenges in the country if given the right support.
Reacting to their curiosity, however, the Minister allayed the fear of the investors disclosing that the Federal Government has not concluded the concession plan.
He insisted that the government was mindful of the compelling interest and economic viability of local investors, adding that under no circumstances would the government allow investors to suffer any losses.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has said that the recent approval of N35.4 billion for electricity infrastructure in Kano and Calabar free trade zones would boost Nigeria’s industrial development.
Adusubga explained that the Authority was grateful to the government for the great feat even as the Kano FTZ remains viable despite the power challenges.
He made the remarks at the week when he led the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment on an inspection tour of the Kano Free Trade Zone (KFTZ).