The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled plans to create about 3, 000 employment with four Airports which has the government approval to function as Special economic zones.
The approved airports include Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), disclosed this during Captain Rabiu Yadudu, Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), visit to NEPZA in Abuja.
He said the zones will also create indirect jobs by engaging the services of suppliers, producers, marketers, transporters who will be engaged in the economic activities within the airports.
“The concept is not new; we have about 3,000 such zones in China which is used to dazzle the world in terms of its economic developments and impetus that had occurred within such period.“Between 1980 and 2000 China had successfully used this concept to dazzle the world and become one of the fastest growing and developing economies in the world.“There is no doubt at all that if we do this for Nigeria, the sky is not just the limit, we shall hit the moon,’’ Adesugba said.
According to Adesugba, the agencies has set up an implementation committee, which was expected to commence operations immediately to develop intended structures for the zones.
He also revealed the establishment of a Nigeria economic zones institute in Kano, which he says will be fully operating soon.
The Prof further pledged his devotion and cooperation to FAAN, adding that its experts in SEZs management and concept who work very closely with the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) would assist in its staff training and capacity development.
“With the President’s designation of the airports, NEPZA and FAAN are ready and eager to work together to ensure that we bring about a model which is going to be much better than what you see in places like Dubai, deepen economic activities and significantly contribute to the country’s GDP”.
Meanwhile, FAAN Boss before Adesugba’s Speech pleaded for NEPZA’s cooperation in ways to improve the mutual service delivery of the organisations.
He indicated. that when FAAN increase Its airports from 22 to 30 their accreditation would boost the export drive of the country.
“Nigeria is a very big country and we believe that for all agencies of government to live up to that image and responsibility must also think, plan and act big.We want to work with NEPZA to improve its capacity and operations in terms of economic activities, particularly in export processing zones. We seek your counsel, guidance and cooperation in seeing that we develop our airport for them to become accredited and approved economic processing zones both for Nigerians and foreigners.”
“It will create a lot of business opportunities and employment through exportation across the world. Airports are national economic security assets so, whatever you do with such assets that do not translate into big decisions and progress in terms of economic activities is a disservice.”
“That is why we want to discuss ways and means in which we can improve our airports to have the approval and accreditation. 30 airports across Nigeria being accredited to operate export processing zone is very big for us, it also takes away the inconvenience of having companies coming in units for these licences to operate within the airport” He said.