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NEPZA decries impact of obsolete laws on operations of Free Trade Zones

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The Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), has said that time has come for the amendment of all obsolete laws, which have become unnecessary bottlenecks to successive operations of the zones across the country.

It said Nigeria stands to generate billions of dollar worth of foreign direct investment into the nation’s economy if such laws are amended.

NEPZA Acting Managing Director, Bitrus Dawok, disclosed this when the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) delegation paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Dawok in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, said: “The new partnership with the World Bank and the IFC especially in the areas of infrastructure development of the Free Trade Zones as well as staff capacity building will go a long way in attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) running into billions for Nigeria’s economy.”

He said that NEPZA is ever ready to work with the financial institutions to ensure that Nigeria’s free trade zones become world-class, stressing that efforts are being made for the amendment of all the obsolete laws.

“I will be on your neck from now on, especially in areas of training of my staff for optimum performance, for infrastructure development at zones.”

Responding, the Leader of the delegation, Feyi Boroface, said the visit was aimed at strengthening relationship with NEPZA, especially in the areas of providing enabling environment to attract more foreign investors into the country, building anchor projects that would encourage the establishment of industries like the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant.

According to him, the World Bank, which has the mandate of providing funding or advice for the development of countries do so with the help of the four arms of the organization. “These include the International Financial Co-operation (IFC), which finances private Companies, International Development Association (IDA) that provides assurances on political risks for foreign investors, and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSD), which also provides arbitration for investment disputes, respectively.”

He noted, “The World Bank Group is a multilateral development institution, so our aim is to go to all the developing countries in the world to see where we can provide funding or advice to help in development, so the 210 or 220 countries in the world, about 150 of them are developing nations, we need to go there and see how we can help them in development also.”

He added that a typical development issue is “how we can create more jobs, how can we increase women participation in the economic process, how can we increase money and standard investment, and how do we increase exports among others.”


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