Senate wants FTZs to adopt backward integration for speedy technology transfer

The Chairman of the Senate committee on Trade, Industry and Investment has urged the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Sen Francis Fadahunsi has called on some free trade zones and enterprises across the country should frequently adopt back-up integration where local partnerships were encouraged for speedy transfer of technology and economic growth.

Sen Fadahunsi made the remark during routine oversight function to some free trade zones on Tuesday in Lagos.

The free zones visited are: Quits Aviation, NAHCO, ASL, Pan African, LADOL and Snake Island Integrated FZ.

The committee is scheduled to continue the tour of Lekki FZ, Lagos FZ, Dangote FZ and Eko Atlantic FZ between Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, Martins Odeh, the Chairman said the excavation of perennial crisis between NEPZA and the Onne Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority (OGEFZA) must be put to rest, adding, that the existing laws that established both agencies gave them distinct functions.

He explained that: “ Going by NEPZA Act 63 of 1992, the Authority is bestowed with the sole mandate of regulating the Nigeria’s Free Trade Zone Scheme. NEPZA by this Act is a regulatory body’’.

The chairman of the committee, however, explained that OGEFZA was also a creation of the parliament in 1994 with a clear mandate to operate as a zone in the downstream sector in Onne and Okpokri in River State.

On his part, NEPZA’s Board Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Fanda,said the Authority would perform better if placed under the supervision of the presidency, saying that was the position in all of the countries where the scheme had succeeded.

“The United Arab Emirate adopted this scheme in 1987 while Nigeria embraced it in 1992, leaving UAE to just be ahead of us with just five years. UAE has used FTZ to attain inconceivable development strides but our case is different’’, Fanda said.