The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba says the clusters of Free Trade Zones around the Lagos Lagoon axis when fully developed will serve as catalyst for the industrialization of the country.
Adesugba made the remark while on a working visit to Snake Island Integrated Free Trade Zone (SIIFTZ), Ladol and Eko Atlantic Zones respectively on Tuesday.
The NEPZA boss explained that those business enclaves had the capacity to define the economic fortune of the country, adding that the ocean provided the zones the leverages to maximize their potentials.
Adesugba, who described the Eko Atlantic City as a masterpiece and the new wonder of the world said, the investors had successfully carved out a ``smart city’’ with multiple purpose functions from the ocean.
He said it was amazing to see how the conglomerate had used variety of marine engineering techniques to bring forth such an enduring city that would contribute its quota to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) significantly.
Adesugba also explained that the zones were successfully capitalizing on their proximity to the large body of water to attract huge investors’ traffic, adding that those clusters remained the ``game changer’’ for the country’s industrialization.
The NEPZA managing director further explained that the country was gradually using the free trade zone scheme to diversify the economy away from the over dependency on oil and gas.
``The policy of the Federal Government on using the free trade zones to galvanise economic activities is yielding results and NEPZA is encouraged by the commitment of investors and stakeholders alike who continue to promote the scheme even in the face of challenges.
``NEPZA as an agency of government charged with the responsibility of regulating and managing the sector, will ensure that the concept of the free trade zone scheme is upheld at all times.
``We are on the verge of establishing a department that oversees Investment Promotion and Services that will attend to the needs of operators faster,’’ the NEPZA boss said.
Adesugba also explained that: ``we shall go to any length to create an enabling environment for the zones to continue to contribute to the country’s economic growth’’.
The NEPZA Chief Executive on Monday had visited Alaro City, Lagos City, Lekki and Dangote free trade zones for on-the-spot assessment of infrastructure and business activities within those enclaves.