NEPZA reiterates free tax regime for enterprises in free trade zones
• Says areas gradually overcoming power, water supply challenges
The Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), has again reminded operators that all enterprises in the free trade zones (FTZ) should be allowed to enjoy a free tax regime, as espoused by drafters of the Authority’s concept.
NEPZA said: “We must ensure that the public understands the true meaning of the scheme, which is simply a business enclave out of the Customs area, the enterprises operating in the zones are not taxable. This is an aspect where the various tax agencies must come to terms with.”
The Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, reiterated this while meeting with stakeholders in the FTZ Calabar, Cross River State.
He admitted that the scheme could affect the government’s revenue generation in the short term, but would boost local production, create employment, attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for industrialization in the long run.
He also urged the staff of the Authority in the Zone to develop a renewed vigour toward helping in executing its mandate, stressed that the management would no longer condone inept behaviours from members of its workforce.
Adesugba, who assumed office as Chief Executive Officer NEPZA three months ago, remarked that the private zones are gradually overcoming the challenges of power and water supply, adding that Mr President is committed to making the public zones enjoy similar infrastructural stability.
He, however, said the public and private sectors must agree to work together to jointly solve some of the problems negating the smooth operations of free zones in Nigeria.
He reiterated that the FTZ scheme is a presidential initiative, aimed at propelling economic growth through local production, adding that the government is aware of the challenges associated with zones’ operations, but considers the prospects and gains to far outweigh those challenges.
According to him, the arrangement to upgrade electricity supply to the Calabar and Kano zones directly managed by the government has reached an advanced stage.