The Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has described Kwara State as a charming investment destination.
Adesugba made the remark after he took delivery of the Certificate of Occupancy for both the 500 hectares for the Medical Special Economic Zone and 276 hectares for Agro-allied Special Economic Zone respectively on Wednesday in Ilorin.
The NEPZA managing director said the glaring improvement made on infrastructure in the state by Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had increased the value of the state as a ``magnetic`` investment destination.
He explained that history was been made with the take-over of the sites for the Kwara Special Economic Zones, adding that arrangement were underway to commence the development of the locations as both state-of-the-arts medical and agro-allied hubs.
Adesugba said the medical zone would be home to world class hospitals and pharmaceutical industries while the agro-allied zone would serve as convergence spot for agricultural food chain where farmers, agro-allied investors and industries would reap the economic advantages associated with zone operation.
``Investment does not stay in the air, investment goes to destinations, investment looks for succor where it is most welcomed. Investment goes to where there is a will to support it. We have discovered that Kwara state seems to be a welcoming state that we can work with in terms of setting up of a special economic zone.
``I dare to say that this must have been the contemplation of those who have been here before me and that of President Muhammadu Buhari who is supporting the industrialization of Nigeria and also ensuring that we who are the implementers do our jobs unhindered.
``The vision of the president is to use the free trade zone scheme to fast track the industrialization of the country. Let me reiterate by saying that the opportunity to warehouse trade zone is open to all states of the Federation.
``This is why Kwara state happens to be one of the six special economic zones we are supposed to start-off with. And today, we are happy to be here to start off with Kwara being the first three that we are working on this year.
``So, your Excellency, I must say that we have gone far especially on the first phase of the project in Kwara, that is the one located at Share in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state for a special economic zone that would be featuring industries that are agro-allied and such other industries that would want to be sighted there.
``We will work with the state to provide the state-of-the-art infrastructure. We will work with you to promote investments in the area. Already, we have prospective investors and companies from Turkey, Egypt, China and other parts of the world asking us where to locate their industries. This would definitely be a good location for them’’, Adesugba said.
He further said: `` in line with the Federal Government agenda for inustrialisation, states, not only Kwara, are required to take advantage of the benefits of the special economic zone in addressing issues relating to unemployment, security, poverty, and infrastructure deficits’’.
On his part, Abdulrasaq said the importance of the zone scheme on economic emancipation could not be overemphasized, adding that the upcoming Kwara SEZs would accelerate infrastructural development and job opportunities for youth in the state.
``One of the unique features of the Kwara state Free Trade Zone is its proximity to the Ilorin International Airport. The KSFZ is just 15 minutes away from the airport allowing for ease of access to local and international visitors.
``Today, we are honoured by the presence of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, who has personally come to inspect the sites and sign the C of O of the lands.
``We appreciate his commitment to both projects and we intent to reciprocate his kind gesture by making them top priorities. We will make all the right investments to make the effort a success’’, the governor said.
Abdulrasaq further explained that free trade zone created unique opportunities globally, adding that Kwara would fully key into the scheme to stimulate wealth.
``This zone will serve as stimulant for exports and a strategic point for technological transfer. With this economic zone, Kwara state is in a strong race to compete nationally and beyond’’, the governor said.