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Zone Setup Process



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1. What types of licence do NEPZA grant?

a.   Free Zone Developers’ Licence

A developers’ License can be granted by the Authority to either public, private or private public partnership (PPP) entities for the purpose of establishing a Free Zone (SEZ)

b.   Free Zone Enterprise Licence

This is the License granted by the Authority/Zone Management for an enterprise to undertake an approved activity within a Free Zone. These activities could fall under the following broad sectoral focus:

  • Manufacturing
  • Trading
  • Service provision, etc.

2. What are the incentives available to an Investor located within a Free Zone

According to Section 18 (1) of the NEPZA, "Approved enterprises within the Zones shall be entitled to the following incentives” –

  1. legislative provisions pertaining to taxes, levies, duties and foreign exchange regulations shall not apply within the Zones;
  2. repatriation of foreign capital investment in the Zones at any time with capital appreciation of the investment;
  3. remittance of profits and dividends earned by foreign investor in the Zones;
  4. no import or export licences shall be required; Export of goods from a Zone.
  5. up to 100 per-cent of production may be sold into the customs territory against a valid permit, and on payment of appropriate duties;
  6. rent-free land at construction stage, thereafter rent shall be as determined by the Authority;
  7. up to 100 per-cent foreign ownership of business in the Zones allowable; h. foreign managers and qualified personnel may be employed by companies operating in the Zones.
  8. Foreign managers and qualified personnel may be employed by companies operating in the Zones.
  9. The import duty on goods manufactured, processed or assembled in the free zones and exported into the Nigerian customs territory, shall be the rate applicable to the raw materials (in the state in which they are originally introduced into the free zones)

3. What is the cost of securing a SEZ Developer’s license?

  • Processing Fee - $10,000
  • Declaration Fee - $400,000 (Free Zone)
  • Declaration Fee - $500,000 (Industrial Park/City Status)

4. What are the procedures for the grant of a Developers’ License?

The procedures for the establishment of a Free Zone in Nigeria is as follows:

  • ‌Submission of Letter of application by Project Promoter alongside relevant supporting documents (as stated in Checklist)
  • ‌Payment of $10,000 Processing Fees
  • Review of submitted Documents by NEPZA
  • ‌Site Assessment by NEPZA
  • ‌Forwarding of recommendation for approval Letter to Presidency Via Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment
  • ‌Application status (Approval/Non Approval) to be communicated to the applicant.
  • ‌In the instance of Approval/Non-Approval, NEPZA sends notification of approval/Non-Approval letter to the project promoter
  • ‌The notification of approval letter will highlight the next steps towards the issuance of declaration license, setting up and registration of management company for the SEZ etc

5. As an enterprise in the Zone, do I need any CAC registration before I register in the Zone?


6. What Zone do you recommend I register my business as a Free Zone Enterprise?

Existing Zones under the regulation of NEPZA have their respective specialization, thus you can register your business in any zone that best suits that your business activities/specialization.

7. Does the Free Zone Declaration licence have validity?

No validity status is attached to the declaration license and payment is one- off

8. What is the validity of the Free Zone Operating licence (OPL)?

One year

9. What is the renewal fee for the OPL?

USD $ 60,000 Dollars

10. How many hectares of land are required for the establishment of a Free Zone?

No definite policy on this

11. What are the activities permissible in a Free Zone?

  1. Manufacturing of goods for export
  2. Warehousing freight forwarding and customs clearance
  3. Handling of duty free goods (transhipment, sorting, marketing, packaging, etc.)
  4. Banking and other financial services; insurance and reinsurance
  5. Import of goods for special services, exhibitions and publicity
  6. International Commercial Arbitration Services
  7. Any other legitimate business activities as may be deemed appropriate by Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority from time to time.

12. What is the minimum share capital required for a Free Zone Enterprise?


13. Can an Enterprise have one director?


14. Is there any difference between export processing zone and free trade zone?

Yes, export processing zone is a variant of economic zones that focuses on manufacturing of goods for export, while free trade zone is a variant that allows the inclusion of other business activities such as trade (local export) and services and can also sell into the customs territory upon the payment of appropriate duties.