The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), in partnership with Future Africa, is set to deploy technology to spark up interests and participation in the country’s free trade zones scheme.
The Future Africa is a private firm that provides capital, coaching and community for mission-driven innovators.
The NEPZA Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday when the Future Africa’s representative, Mr Iyionoluwa Aboyeji, paid him a courtesy visit.
He said the two organizations are considering the possibility of triggering wider participation of the business community in the scheme.
Adesugba added that technology remains the fastest accelerator of modern business, reiterating the readiness of NEPZA to partner with Future Africa and other firms in running the country’s 42 free trade zones with technology.
“Nigeria stands out when we talk about innovation and technology in Africa, but we may have to engage in the training of our youth to redirect their psychic to exploit the systems more positively.
“The youth remain the technology talent hub that we can leverage on to create the wealth for our nation.
“We have a dream of being at the forefront of the industrialization of Nigeria. The free trade zones are supposed to be the foreign countries in our country that relentlessly promote industrialization through creation of wealth, free tax regime, seamless infrastructure and transportation system to drive the process,” Adesugba said.
He also stated that the NEPZA was ready to establish additional free trade zones to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in order to support revenue generation and to also enhance the economy.
He said, “We have discovered that the country needs more free trade zones. The authority is, therefore, looking at the possibility of creating a special environment or zones for constituency projects.
“This, we can do by establishing talent hot-spots for young people, skill acquisition centres and all such job creation out-fits that can ignite production at the grassroots.”
While speaking, Aboyeji expressed his delight on the partnership of Future Africa with NEPZA, describing it “open door policy’’ by the new NEPZA Chief Executive.
He added that Adesugba’s appointment has indicated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to reposition the country’s economy.
He, however, described technology and innovation as the backbone of any economy, saying the Future Africa’s collaboration with NEPZA would help fast track the promotion of Nigeria’s free trade zones.
Aboyeji stated that the firm has selected Tinapa and Rendezvous in Calabar and Alaro City free trade zone in Lagos State respectively to commence the first phase of its operation.