The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has said the establishment of the Cotton and Medical Tourism Parks in Katsina State would bring about the needed improved investment climate to the state.
Adesugba, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, made the remark at a meeting between NEPZA team and members of the state’s Working Group for the establishment of the two Special Economic Zones on Tuesday in Katsina.
The NEPZA boss, who led the team of officials from the Authority on the visit, said the two special economic zones when fully operational would change both the infrastructure and investment landscape of the state.
``While the Cotton Industrial Park to be sited in Funtau will help in accelerating business activities and bring about competitiveness, the Medical Tourism Park to be sited in the state capital, about 15 kilometers away from the Airport would invariably reduce the huge capital flight and losses through medical tourism.
Our strategic plan is to have the medical parks spread around the six geo-political zones. We are happy with the Katsina state level of commitment towards these projects so far
The gesture of the state government to earmark 250 hectares for the cotton park and 300 hectares for the medical park is already a success story for these projects. We would be happier if the Certificate of Occupancy for these two lands are issued to NEPZA as soon as possible.
There is however, an array of hope of mobilizing to site soon as this meeting has set out workable timeline for the implementation of the Funtua cotton park project while the proposed medical park is still at the conceptualization stage’’, the NEPZA CEO said.
He further said: ``we solicit His Excellency’s goodwill and office to facilitate the issuance of the relevant title documents in favour of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) as it is a major requirement by law in the declaration of an area as a Special Economic Zone by the President’’.
According to him, the Authority is ready to partner with the state government on the project to fast-track the state’s industrialization efforts.
``Let me reaffirm here that the greatest gift President Muhammadu Buhari has given to the nation is his unflinching commitment to using the Free Trade Zone concept to fast track the industrialization of the country. We are indeed grateful to the president for his foresight.
``The free zone scheme is a global economic concept that supports speedy infrastructure development, generate both foreign and Local Direct Investments, creates jobs for our teeming youth population as well as stimulate local production for export in a well-defined ecosystem free from the usual business encumbrances.
``We, therefore, implore the state to leverage on this opportunity by expeditiously tying all loose ends and giving NEPZA the Certificate-of-Occupancy of the properties that will harbour these two great parks’’, Adesugba said.
Gov. Aminu Masari, while receiving the resolutions from members of the working group led by both the NEPZA boss and the state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, expressed delight on the decision of the group to fast-track the process leading to actual commencement of work on the projects.
Masari explained that the state government was committed to ensuring the success of the projects, adding that the two special economic zones were capable of re-ordering the state’s development configuration for the better.