Buhari clears air on controversy surrounding Nigeria SEZ 

 

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammdu Buhari has said that here is no controversy on the status of the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO) as being speculated in some quarters.

Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President, in reaction to reports on the status of NSEZCO, said, “We wish to confirm that NZESCO was incorporated as a special purpose vehicle to deliver Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports), which is a Presidential initiative.

“The Federal Government’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) identified the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a major strategic tool to accelerate the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).”

He said the Project MINE was envisioned by the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (MITI) to develop SEZs to world-class standards and position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of made in Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally.

He said, “Indeed, Project MINE was necessitated by the following factors:

“Lack of operating competitiveness that limits the growth of the zones, despite the presence of generous fiscal and regulatory incentives.

“For government-owned SEZs, there were limited federal budget allocations to make the required investments in infrastructure, operations and management services.” 

The President recalled in June, 2018; the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved NSEZCO, with the endorsement of the Economic Management Team, as the holding entity for FGN investments and proprietary interests in existing and future SEZs.

He said the FEC approval also provided that all current and future capital appropriations for Project MINE should be transferred to NSEZCO’s account, as soon as opening formalities were completed.