The Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has described the Dangote Industries Free Trade located in Lekki, Lagos as an awesome one-world project capable of fast tracking the country’s industrialization process.
Adesugba made the remark during a tour of the project site on Monday in Lagos.
The project which majestically sits on 2, 700 hectares of land comprises of Petroleum Refinery, Dangote Fertiliser and other sundry manufacturing outfits.
The refinery section of the project is considered the largest single trail petroleum refinery in the world with capacity to produce 650,000 barrels per day making a total of 32 million ton per annum.
The NEPZA boss said some of the engineering and marine technologies used in the project could later be listed in the Guinness Book of Record, adding that the project had come to meet both the petroleum and fertilizer needs of the country.
``It is indeed a privilege for this project to be sited in Nigeria, it shows that Alhaji Aliko Dangote had long caught the vision of the country to become self sustaining in the production of petrochemical products.
``We are fascinated by the energy both the expatriates and local work force have put into this work so far. The project has opened a vista for technology transfer, massive job creation, training of local Engineers as well as apprenticeship in world class marine and petrochemical engineering procedures.
``Nigeria is however, eager to see the completion of this project which shall open up the economy for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) drive. Dangote has used the free trade zone scheme to sustain the progress of work as all machinery and equipment from abroad to aid the project were tax and duty free.
``There is no gain saying that the project when completed will have multiplier positive effects on our economy and that of Africa, and the world as a whole. This is indeed a one-world project. As an agency, we are committed to supporting and protecting all enterprises in the zones from untoward exploitations,’’ Adesugba said.
He reiterated that the free trade zone concept had guaranteed lofty incentives that included non- payment of taxes, customs duties and such other levies that were hitherto alien to the operation of the scheme.
The managing director also visited Alaro City Free Trade Zones, Lagos Free Trade Zone and Lekki Free Trade Zone to be abreast of the prospects and challenges of operators of the zones
Adesugba expressed satisfaction with the commitment of the drivers of the zones that had ensured the success of the scheme so far, explained that all encumbrances against smooth operation of in zones would be gradually removed.
He further said that he was concerned with worries expressed by operators on the need to amend the NEPZA Act without further delay, adding that the draft of the amendment to the Act had already been done.
Adesugba also explained that efforts were on to ensure that the ``Offshore Banking’’ regulation was approved to allow enterprises in the zones to have access to foreign exchange effortlessly.
He therefore, urged the operators to find a way of constituting themselves into a virile association that could be used to deepen stakeholders’ collaboration and partnership.