The ``Combination Industries’’, the first enterprise to enter the Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) in 1992 has lauded the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) new business approaches set to address core challenges of enterprises at the zone.
Mr Nik Mirpuri, Managing Director of Cheese Balls and Chesszy Taste Snacks made the remark when Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA embarked on a routine inspection visit of the zone on Thursday in Calabar.
Mirpuri, CEO of the Indian company also explained that various interventions made by the new NEPZA management had rekindled the confidence of the company which accounted for the recent resumption of full operations here.
"We are also encouraged by the approval given by the Federal Government to upgrade electricity in the zone. This when executed will reduce the current production cost we bear", he said.
On his part, Adesugba expressed delight on the decision by the enterprise to commence production of those important products highly cherished by Nigerian Children.
Upon his assumption of office on July 1, 2020, the NEPZA CEO had intervened and promised to address some of the teething challenges inhibiting the growth of the zone scheme in the country.
The NEPZA managing director said the Authority had, however, used both suasion, new marketing communication approaches and bridging of infrastructure deficits to ensure zone operators and the enterprises broke even while operating in the special business ecosystem.
``It is heart-warming to see that the company has yielded to the Authority’s new business approaches of placing the successes of enterprises in the zones above other considerations by helping them in every way possible.
``We, however, have both President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo to thank and celebrate for their interests and steps taken so far to reposition the scheme.
``The recent approvals given to upgrade power in both the Calabar and Kano Public Zones are beginning to rekindle the hopes and confidence of the operators of enterprises in those locations. It can only get bigger and better.
"We have continued to persuade Combination Industries and many others like it in the zone to keep faith with the Federal Government’s interventions to truly make the zone a production hub.
``We have been told that the resumption of operations of the company after many months of closure has again been cherished by young people, pupils and their parents not only in Nigeria, but also in Cameroun, Sao Tome & Principe and other countries in West African where Cheese Balls and Cheezy Taste Snacks are heavily sought after", Adesugba said.
In corroborating the above, dozens of pupils from three Primary and Nursery Schools from Calabar Metropolis had embarked on excursion visits to the company on Thursday as well.
A cross section of them who described the enterprise as key to the sustenance of government’s school feeding programme, said the company remained the pride of country and must be, protected to thrive.