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  •  NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro allied district
    NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro-allied district
     NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro allied district
    NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro-allied district
    Economy2 weeks ago

    NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro-allied district

    The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has urged Ondo Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (ONDOCIMA) to establish a special agro-allied district.

    Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA, said that it was critical in promoting the production and processing of agricultural produce for export.

    A statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, said that Adesugba made the appeal when the new executive of the chamber visited him on Thursday in Abuja.

    According to him, the chamber must become active partner in the economic development of Ondo State by establishing the  special agro-allied district.

    The NEPZA boss, who said that chamber movement was aimed at galvanising sound economic development, added that ONDOCIMA was set up to make indelible and positive economic impact in the state.

    “The chamber must constitute itself as an active development partner of the state by making itself an economic springboard in the state.

    “This can happen speedily if a special agro-allied district for backward linkages in the production and processing of agricultural produce can be established.

    “The new executive must begin to contemplate on securing large expanse of land in the state to establish this project as the enclave help to provide jobs and variety of businesses for members and residents of the state.

    “Ondo State is blessed with arable land, suitable for all-year-round- farming.

    The association can also reserve a substantial portion of the proposed district for the production of cocoa which the state has comparative advantage on,’’ Adesugba said.

    He explained that pioneer members of the state branch of the association had plans of having such a special agric site and other businesses as well.

    Adesugba, however, said that a number of extraneous factors had made the dream unrealisable.

    “The chamber can only record good successes if it is less dependent on government.

    The leadership must activate interest and expertise of the members in order to achieve the set goals,’’ Adesugba said.

    He also said that the association could become more potent and resulted-oriented if it regularly underwent projects’ assessment visitations to other sister associations.

    “Members would use such tours for business knowledge acquisition and investment promotion exchanges,” he said.

    Adesugba further said that NEPZA was prepared to partner the association in developing business templates that would make it become investment forerunner in the state.

    The NEPZA boss also explained that the Akoko Chamber of Commerce, an adjunct of ONDOCIMA was a testament of years of striving to ensure that most local communities in the state were linked to the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

    President of ONDOCIMA, Olugbenga Araoyinbo, said that Adesugba had continually proven that his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to led the movement of industrialising the country through the Free Trade Zone scheme was useful.

    He, however, explained that the new executive of the association had opened a new chapter in the administration of the chamber movement in the  state.

    Araoyinbo said that the association was prepared to join forces with the government in growing the economy.

    “We are indeed grateful for the suggestion that the association establishes an agro-allied district where our members and investors can be involved in mechanised farming and processing of farm produce for local use and export.

    “The association will in this light collaborate with NEPZA, our national body, the state government and investors to ensure that this plan is brought to fruition,’’ Araoyinbo said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  NEPZA FIRS agree to adjust FTZs new tax administration pact
    NEPZA, FIRS agree to adjust FTZs new tax administration pact
     NEPZA FIRS agree to adjust FTZs new tax administration pact
    NEPZA, FIRS agree to adjust FTZs new tax administration pact
    Economy3 weeks ago

    NEPZA, FIRS agree to adjust FTZs new tax administration pact

    The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have agreed to adjust some sections of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on effective tax administration, to accommodate some salient concerns.
      The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the agencies on June 7 signed the tax pact to reconcile grey areas in the administration on issues bordering tax deductions from free zones and enterprises operating in the zones respectively.
    The agreement to adjust the MoU was reached on Wednesday during a formal presentation of the document to the stakeholders at a roundtable organised by NEPZA in Lagos.
    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the agencies on June 7 signed the tax pact to reconcile grey areas in the administration on issues bordering tax deductions from free zones and enterprises operating in the zones respectively.
    A cross section of the stakeholders had raised concerns on some sections of the guidelines that contravene some provisions of the NEPZA Act for operators in the free zones.
      Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, NEPZA, explained that the event was to make adjustments where necessary on how the FIRS and NEPZA would treat tax issues relating to business interactions within the free trade zone ecosystem.
      He noted that Section 5 of the MoU had given parties the leverage to call for the amendment of the tax guidelines when necessary.
    “The Authority’s recent diplomatic advances with sister agencies, especially, the FIRS can only be described as a game changer.
    “We have always insisted that the free trade zone scheme must be allowed to succeed as that truly remains a potent economic instrument for widespread growth and development.
    “Therefore, we have agreed to adjust the tax pact to capture some of the salient concerns of the stakeholders.
    “The authority will not shy away from protecting the scheme and those who have invested billions of dollars in the scheme and we are delighted that the FIRS has become our advocate in this regard.
    “We are also happy that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has given us the impetus through his favourable policies to deepen the growth of the scheme,” he said.
    Alhaji Mohammed Nami, Executive Chairman, FIRS, said concerns of the stakeholders would be evaluated, adding that the document was a flexible guideline on how to administer the MoU.
    Nami, represented by Mr Mathew Gbonjubola, Coordinating Director of the Service, noted that not all the concerns raised were genuine, saying that the FIRS was knowledgeable enough on issues around free trade zone tax administration.
    Nami explained that the Service would not unduly interrogate tax remittances of enterprises with full status of free trade zones.
    He further noted that all other issues raised on the tax pact would be addressed within two months.
    On his part, Chief Toyin Elegbede, Executive-Secretary of the Nigeria Economic Zones Association, said that the forum was important to address the concerns of his members on the tax administration pact signed between NEPZA and FIRS.
    According to him, the discussions from forum elicited hopes and assurances on the commitment of government to support the in-flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through the free trade zone scheme.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  PEBEC lauds Senate over Ease of Doing Business Bill second reading
    PEBEC lauds Senate over Ease of Doing Business Bill second reading
     PEBEC lauds Senate over Ease of Doing Business Bill second reading
    PEBEC lauds Senate over Ease of Doing Business Bill second reading
    General news4 weeks ago

    PEBEC lauds Senate over Ease of Doing Business Bill second reading

    PEBEC lauds Senate over Ease of Doing Business Bill secoDr Jumoke Oduwole, Secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has expressed pleasure over the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022, also known as the “Omnibus Bill” that passed second reading at the Senate on Wednesday.

    Oduwole in a statement on Thursday, in Abuja said that the Bill was an intervention of PEBEC.

    “It is aimed at consolidating and amending outdated legislative provisions towards removing bottlenecks for micro, small and medium enterprises,” she said.

    According to her, the bill seeks to ensure the Sustainability of business climate and give statutory force to Executive Order 001 of 2017 on the promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in Business.

    She had also at another fora explained that the Omnibus Bill was aimed at amending specific laws relating to ease of doing business which will then be made into single legislation to act as a catalyst for legislative reform of the Nigerian business climate.

    According to her, the overall benefits of the Bill include ensuring efficiency in public service delivery in terms of time, cost, and procedure for doing business, improving transparency, removing outdated provisions from relevant laws, and providing incentives to encourage Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) participation in business.

    While giving further highlights of the Bill, she explained that the codification of the Presidential Executive Order 001 (001) requires MDAs to publish licenses, permits, waivers, approvals, and other related information, among other things, in order to improve transparency and public access to information.

    “Others are amendment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 with the recognition of electronic share certificates, electronic voting at annual general meetings, and other information is in tandem with technology best practices.

    “The provisions of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Act and CAMA have been reconciled to recognize the exemption of free trade zone companies licensed by NEPZA from company registration.” She stressed that the Bill also provided for ease in the procedure for increase in share capital by including the option for such decisions to be determined by a resolution of the Board of Directors, subject to the provisions in the articles of association of the company or by the company in general meeting.

    The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the that the Federal Executive Council approved the bill on March 23, 2022, which was a culmination of four years of collaborative work by public and private sector stakeholders in the legal community.

    It was anchored by the PEBEC through a sub-committee led by the Attorney General of the Federation.

    It was implemented by a technical working group with the Federal Ministry of Justice legal drafting team and representatives from leading law firms and consultancy firms.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  NEPZA attracts 1 billion investment to Niger state
    NEPZA attracts  NEPZA attracts 1 billion investment to Niger state billion investment to Niger state
     NEPZA attracts 1 billion investment to Niger state
    NEPZA attracts  NEPZA attracts 1 billion investment to Niger state billion investment to Niger state
    Economy1 month ago

    NEPZA attracts $1 billion investment to Niger state

    The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says it has attracted a $1 billion investment in Niger.

    A statement in Abuja on Saturday by NEPZA's Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Martins Odeh, said the authority remained resolute in its mandate as a key player in pursuit of Nigeria's economic development.

    The statement reported that Professor Adesoji Adesugba, managing director of NEPZA, said this as he handed over an approved free trade zone declaration license to officials of the investment company, Hydropolis Investment Limited, in Abuja on Thursday.

    According to Adesugba, NEPZA has remained steadfast in its mandate as a key player in the pursuit of the nation's economic development by once again achieving a $1 billion investment in the state.

    On July 8, the Authority secured an investment worth $100 million in the Special Economic Zone in Lekki, Lagos, for the production of medical equipment.

    Adesugba said that NEPZA was actively seeking investment to help the Federal and subnational governments quickly overcome the country's development deficits.

    He said the Authority was excited about handing over a free trade zone operating license to Hydropolis Investment Limited, adding that the now Hydropolis Free Trade Zone occupied 2,000 hectares of land in Amfani Village in the local government area of Magama in Niger.

    The NEPZA chief said the new zone would commit more than $1 billion to establish an industrial park, a smart city and an international cargo airport that would provide backward links for local and foreign businesses.

    He said the development was another economic milestone as the area is sure to have a positive impact on the country's employment profile and Gross Domestic Product.

    For his part, Dr. Abdulmalik Ndagi, CEO of Hydropolis Investment Limited, expressed satisfaction with the speed of approval.

    Ndagi described the area as an ideal economic hub for the entire country.

    According to him, the area will be a replica of the Lekki Free Trade Zone in the North Central region of the country.

    He further said that the strategic location of the Kainji Dam area gave him the desired advantage.

    Ndagi added that the business ecosystem had already reached an agreement with the Federal Government to obtain its electricity from the dam.

    “We are sincerely indebted to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, as well as NEPZA, Prof.

    Adesugba, for their efforts to ensure the projects' realization.

    “As a business venture, we are committed to taking advantage of this trust placed in us to contribute our share to the development of this great nation.

    "Work has started on the location and we hope to complete the development of internal infrastructure such as road networks, offices, fences, electricity before November when the president will inaugurate this world-class business paradise," said Ndagi.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  New security outfit will increase investments in free zones NEPZA
    New security outfit will increase investments in free zones – NEPZA
     New security outfit will increase investments in free zones NEPZA
    New security outfit will increase investments in free zones – NEPZA
    Economy2 months ago

    New security outfit will increase investments in free zones – NEPZA

    The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the newly inaugurated Special Economic Zone Security (SEZSEC) outfit will cause an upsurge of investments in the zones.

    The Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, said this at the passing-out ceremony of 40 officers of the SEZSEC, on Saturday in Lagos.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the one-month training, was carried out in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS).

    According to Adesugba, the outfit is borne out of the need to further strengthen the existing security architecture and provide adequate security to lives and properties in the free zones.

    Adesugba, who was represented by Dr Oyesola Oyekunle, Director Finance and Accounts, said the authority suffered its share of the poor security situation when hoodlums invaded the Tinapa Free Zone in Calabar and a lot of investments were lost.

    He said the outfit would create a safe and secure environment for the zones’ employees, facilities, contracted service providers, members of the public, the special economic zones and NEPZA resources.

    “It is no gainsaying that this singular action will cause an upsurge of investment into the zones as investors look to invest in places where their investment will be secured,” he said.

    Adesugba, however, said the outfit was not created to dislodge the existing zones’ security structure rather, it was established to reinforce the collaborative force of sister security services.

    Mr Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, lauded the creation of the SEZSEC unit, adding that the decision was apt to secure and keep the special economic zone (SEZ) safe and give confidence to investors.

    Adebayo, represented by Babagana Alkali, Director Policy Planning, Research and Statistics, tasked NEPZA to make the zones more attractive to investors, provide high quality infrastructure and be a one-stop shop that would positively impact the economy.

    He said the Federal Government offered a number of economic incentives that would attract foreign companies to operate in the SEZs.

    These incentives included full tax holidays for three consecutive years; duty free importation; 100 per cent repatriation of capital, profits and dividends; exemption from all import and export licences; land is rent free for the first six months for any construction project undertaken in the zone.

    Mr Salami Ajege, Commandant, States Services Academy (SSA), said the security outfit was expected to gather intelligence that would help combat economic sabotage, boost trade and other related activities wherever they were deployed.

    Ajege said to achieve the mandate, the unit would need to ensure professionalism in the discharge of the duties and responsibilities.

    He urged them to be smart, diligent, determined to succeed, discreet with information and be ever ready to confront challenges they will be faced with in discharging their duties.

    “For no reason whatsoever should you become vulnerable to be used against national interest or national security,” he said.

    Also, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, retired Col. Hameed Ali, urged the team to learn the rules that guided other government organisations they would work with to avoid stepping on each others toes.

    Ali, who was represented by Kathleen Ekekezie, Deputy Comptroller-General in-charge of Excise, Free Trade Zones and Industrial Incentives Department, cautioned the personnel against going on a “one-man patrol” to avoid running into trouble.

    NAN also reports that awards were given to the graduands for outstanding performance in Academics, Parade and Unarmed Combat.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  NEPZA FIRS sign MoU on effective tax administration in free trade zones
    NEPZA, FIRS sign MoU on effective tax administration in free trade zones
     NEPZA FIRS sign MoU on effective tax administration in free trade zones
    NEPZA, FIRS sign MoU on effective tax administration in free trade zones
    Economy2 months ago

    NEPZA, FIRS sign MoU on effective tax administration in free trade zones

    The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for effective administration of taxes in the free trade zones.Signing the MoU on Tuesday in Abuja, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said that the importance of the agreement was to foster greater collaboration between the two agencies.According to Nami, the intention is to promote the smooth operation of activities or approve enterprises in the zones and ensure effective administration of taxes applicable in the operation of zones under NEPZA.“Reason why we have been a bit careful is that we have two mandates and the mandates are conflicting.“FIRS is asked to generate revenue for the government to be able to fund it’s budgetary requirements.“This is also for government to be able to provide social amenities, critical infrastructure and ensure security of lives and properties.“In your own case you are asked to attract investments. So, the need for this collaboration becomes necessary so that we don’t disagree in the course of pursuing our respective mandates,’’ he said.While saying that the agency prioritised stakeholders’ engagements, the FIRS boss said that certain data and information were required to succeed in its mandate.“We cannot do it alone we feel we require certain information and support of agencies like the ones present here to succeed.“For us to be able to do this, we have come up with so many innovations to establish a tax incentive department.“Available record shows that NEPZA and FIRS have been working harmoniously since 2010 and the aim today is to further that collaboration.“The design of the mou is expected to have better working relationship that will promote the fulfilment of our respective mandates,’’ he said.Nami said that while FIRS would ensure that her operations and processes would not hinder the smooth operation of the approved enterprises, it is expected that they would be prompt in filing tax returns.“The enterprises are also expected to make remittances of taxes where applicable,’’ he said.Nami said that FIRS would have access to the zones to conduct tax compliance check at periodic intervals in line with the MoU.According to him, if there are any challenges, they would be resolved with speed of cordiality.On his part, the Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, said that the MoU aimed at unbundling and strengthening the tax schedule for compliance purpose in line with section 19 of the NEPZA Act.He said that section 19 of the NEPZA act mandates free zones enterprises to file returns for statistical and data.“Such information makes public the record of sales, purchases and other key operation of the enterprise as the authority may require from time to time.“This requirement is also contained in the Finance Act 2022,’’ he said.Adesugba said that that section 8 of the NEPZA Act approved that enterprises operating in zones should be exempted from all federal, state and local government taxes, levies and rates.“However, they are under obligations to pay all deferred taxes, including duties when they extent their businesses to the custom territories.“So, the widely held notion that enterprises in the zones do not pay tax all remained misplaced.“This new understanding is expected to correct this wrong notion.“For instance, the personnel of the over 500 enterprises that operate in the 42 zones across the country religiously comply with PAYE tax.“The monies are automatically generated and paid to the FIRS in the locations they work,’’ Adesugba said.The NEPZA boss said that the importance of growing the country’s zone scheme in growing nation’s economy could not be overemphasised.“Suffice to say that the authority has through the management of the zones attracted a cumulative investment of 22 billion dollars and generated over N40 billion as gross domestic product for Nigeria,’’ he said.Adesugba, however, said that that the zones scheme comes with huge prospects and challenges.“But we are assiduously re-tweaking our operations to ensure the scheme yields the desired impact in the nation’s economy.“We are also committed to ensuring that this new understanding is strictly respected and followed to the latter,’’ Adesugba said. (

    (NAN)

  •  NEPZA trains 40 personnel for security of special economic zones
    NEPZA trains 40 personnel for security of special economic zones
     NEPZA trains 40 personnel for security of special economic zones
    NEPZA trains 40 personnel for security of special economic zones
    Economy3 months ago

    NEPZA trains 40 personnel for security of special economic zones

    The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has begun training for 40 of its personnel to boost security architecture in all special economic zones in the country.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ongoing exercise, which is being done  in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), was inaugurated on Monday in Lagos.

    The Managing Director of  NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, said that  the training was aimed at providing maximum security in the economic zones to attract both foreign and local investors.

    According to Adesugba, investors look out for the security of their investments, the destination and the core infrastructure in place.

    He said that  some security crises had exposed the gaps in Nigeria’s security architecture which pushed them to take every step necessary to ensure security of businesses and other investments in all economic zones in the country.

    He added that the Nigerian special economic zones would have a well-designed security apparatus, in line with international best practices in special economic zones globally.

    “We had done studies and discovered that there is the need for us to set up a security  unit.

    “What we have done is to work with what government is already doing by working with the DSS to put things together to train a few of our own staff.

    “We want to make sure that we optimise their deliverables by retraining them to fit into the special economic zones’ security unit (SEZSU),” he said.

    Mr Toyin Elegbede, the  Executive Secretary, Nigerian Economic Zones Association (NEZA), said that SEZSU would complement what the Nigerian security services were already doing.

    Elegbede said that the members of the association, who used to be apprehensive,  were now assured that their investments were safer.

    “It will boost business activities because the first thing an investor looks for when trying to come into a free zone is security of his or her property and investment,” he said.

    A retired Customs Deputy Controller General, Mr  Austin Warikoro,   said that  the training would ensure that SEZSU was aware of the rules and regulations guiding the customs.

    Warikoro, who was one of the facilitators,  said that  the trainees would be taught the laws and procedures of customs, familiarise them  with necessary documents and how the actions of people affect the economy of the country.

    Earlier, the Commandant of State Services Academy (SSA), Mr Salami Ajege, urged the participants to take the 30 days’ training seriously so that  they would learn the essentials they would need to apply  to succeed as security operatives.

    Ajege said that some of the essentials include; timeliness, critical thinking, observation and memory training, resourcefulness, dedication to duty, self-confidence, discipline, diligence, multitasking and effective communication.


    (NAN)

  •  NEPZA and imperative of boosting economy via blockchain technology
    NEPZA and imperative of boosting economy via blockchain technology
     NEPZA and imperative of boosting economy via blockchain technology
    NEPZA and imperative of boosting economy via blockchain technology
    Features4 months ago

    NEPZA and imperative of boosting economy via blockchain technology

    By Martins Odeh of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)Unarguably, the Federal Government changed the name of the Federal Ministry of Communications to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in order to be in tune with global trends and reality.The World Economic Forum (WEF), predicts that by 2022, 60 percent of the world economy will be digital.According to WEF, an estimated 60 percent to 70 percent of new value created in the economy over the next decade will be based on digitally-enabled platforms.Companies need to re-imagine how to create, distribute and capture value in this new environment. Closing digital divides is not only conducive to economic growth for all sectors but also critical for social and political stability in the decade ahead, it added.The World Bank in a 2019 report noted that Nigeria is uniquely positioned to reap the benefits of a digital economy.According to the report, Nigeria accounts for 47 percent of West Africa’s population, and half of the country’s 200 million people are under the age of 30.Nigeria has the largest mobile market in Sub-Saharan Africa, supported by strong mobile broadband infrastructure and improved international connectivity.The bank says for Nigeria to meet the bold objective of creating 100 million jobs, the country needs to increase investment in infrastructure, create an enabling regulatory environment for digital economy to grow.When President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, he directed the Ministry to ensure seamless and coordinated implementation of projects, programmes and policies.The aim of the policy is to enable Nigeria maximise the benefits enunciated by the World Bank and WEF from a digital-driven economy.It is in line with this policy, that the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), is desirous of opening up Nigeria’s free zones to the digital space.Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of NEPZA said it was imperative to open up Nigeria’s free zones space to blockchain technology and crypto currency operations.He spoke recently in Abuja when two blockchain firms visited him to make submissions on their proposals for blockchain operations in Nigerian free zones areas.Adesugbasaid the consideration followed requests from local and international players.He said that his team received multiple presentations on the need for crypto exchanges and hubs within the Nigerian special economic zones to tap into multi-billion dollar revenue streams which currently eluded Nigeria.“I have also been approached at various international gatherings and events on why Nigeria, in spite her fiscal pressure, is comfortable losing so much in capital gains tax to neighbouring nations.“We are aware of various reports and studies that indeed confirm operations of blockchain technology in many special economic zones all over the world.“Our management is, therefore, considering inaugurating policy consultation with sister agencies on the need for a regulating framework on this emerging field.“It is worrisome that Nigeria is said to be losing billions of dollars annually in capital gains tax paid to other nations even though the crypto transactions took place in Nigeria.’’The NEPZA boss said that statistics on crypto operations pile up more pressure.“Nigeria is currently the number one in terms of people searching for `Bitcoin’ and `Crypto’ keywords on Google, with more than 6.3 per cent of the entire population owning at least one type of crypto currency.“In the Chainalysis 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index, Nigeria is ranked sixth out of the top 20 countries in terms of crypto currency adoption.“It is important for us to develop a robust blockchain policy in line with current international trends.“And we hope to be able to consider interested organisations for capacity and development of blockchain tech within the free zones.“In policy formulation and implementation, we shall definitely invite all the stakeholders including large crypto exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and other young local operators.’’Adesugba said that this would bring access to technology and expand the capacity of the sector to employ estimated 250, 000 youths.“Leaving this vast field unregulated appears to constitute huge economic loss to the nation. We hope to come up with a draft perspective after due consultations,” Adesugba said.Earlier, the Finlease in its submission sought the endorsement of NEPZA for the establishment of Lekki International Financial Centre at the Lekki Free Zone (LIFCFZ).The Managing Director of Finlease, Dr Sunday Sijuade, said the planned Lekki International Financial Centre would cover offshore crypto zone to cater for crypto currencies.According to him, it is to become an offshore destination for crypto exchanges, digital assets and virtual assets.According to Sijuade, the proposal is in line with international trends across global special economic zones.He cited examples of Chinese Financial free zones in Shanghai and the United Arab Emirates’ International Finance Centre, where such innovation had been introduced into the free zones.Adesugba, when he paid a courtesy visit on Mr Mohammed Nami, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) reiterated the need to deploy novel digital technology to open up the Free Trade Zones ( FTZs) space for operators of the multi-trillion-dollar blockchain technology businesses.He re-emphasised the readiness of NEPZA to open the country’s free trade zones’ corridor for genuine global competitiveness.According to him, the African Continental Free Trade Zones Area (AfCFTA) has given leverage to all countries in the continent to diverse their business catchments.“As we speak, free trade zones are springing up everywhere in Africa. Nigeria must be concerned about competitions from Egypt; South Africa; Kenya; Benin Republic; Ghana; and Togo where huge investments have been committed to free trade zones development.“For us, we are doing well with about 500 enterprises operating in 42 zones across the country, but we must expand the investment corridor to magnet operators of the blockchain technology which remains the future of global economy.“The time to join the train is now, else we shall be counting our losses in a few years time. We are delighted that the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently approved and deployed the e-naira.’’Adesugba said that Nigeria must key into the technology as more than 90 per cent of European and US banks were researching blockchain options.He said that multinational organisations like JP Morgan, MTN, KFC, Tesla and many others have entered the crypto currency and metaverse digital blockchain sector, with MTN said to have purchased 114 metaverse properties recently.He said that NEPZA was aware on how the technology could revolutionalise government, finance, insurance and personal identity security, adding that trillions of naira could accrue to the Federal Government as revenue from this ecosystem.The NEPZA chief executive also said that the decision to fully promote the blockchain technology hinged on its fast rate of revenue turnovers and the unlimited job space the technology had for the teeming youths.He explained that the country’s tax net would be exponentially enlarged if the investment came alive, as according to him, Nigeria is currently rated as the 6th largest player in the world in the crypto and blockchain trade, especially amongst the youths.” I, therefore, see no reason why we should not open up the space and attract the much needed capital into the country, while government benefits from taxes , or management fees amounting to billions of naira as is done in countries like Canada and South Africa.Adesugba also said that NEPZA was ready to deepen collaboration with relevant government agencies in order to fast track the country’s industrialisation.He explained that the visit to the FIRS was to prepare grounds for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at ending indiscriminate tax regime that had stunted the full development of the free trade zone scheme.He said that the scheme was a global business policy that exempts operators of zones from all forms of taxes and duties. He however said that when goods and services from the zones are taken to the customs area, they will be required to pay the required duty which is not necessary when exported elsewhere.“You can see that the country is not losing any revenue, as most of the goods and services from the zones are now imported to the customs areas.“FIRS and the Custom Services must wait until items from the zones are brought to the customs area before they can be taxed,’’ he said.Adesugba also explained that it was imperative that the key agencies partnering with the NEPZA to drive the development of the scheme understand the dynamics of the scheme.Undoubtedly, with zeal exhibited by Adesugba since his appointment, the Authority, established via NEPZA Act 63 of 1992, will deliver on its mandate.The mandate includes: licensing, regulating, monitoring and promoting the operations of all zones in Nigeria.It also seeks to provide a conducive investment climate by offering a competitive incentive regime, streamlined administrative procedures and world class infrastructure.The current efforts of NEPZA are all geared towards delivering on the mandate of the Authority.(NANFeatures)(NAN)

  •  FG urges Port concessionaires to comply with specifications
    FG urges Port concessionaires to comply with specifications.
     FG urges Port concessionaires to comply with specifications
    FG urges Port concessionaires to comply with specifications.
    Economy7 months ago

    FG urges Port concessionaires to comply with specifications.

    Mr. Emmanual Jime, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC) has urged the concessionaires of the Funtua Inland Dry Port to ensure that they meet the specifications for the construction of a dry port.

    Jime gave the advice when the dealership, led by Abass, managing director of Equatorial Marine Oil and Gas Ltd, visited him in Abuja on Tuesday.

    He urged them to speed up the level of stacking area construction, saying no dry port was complete without a stacking area.

    He further said that the ministry had approved the IDP's operational manual, which had been produced and would be released soon.

    The executive secretary expressed his joy at the level of work carried out so far in the port, while hoping that it will soon be ready for its inauguration.

    ”Today I am happy to say that the information I have received gives me great cause for joy and in a short time the dry port of Funtua will be operational.

    "And we are anxious for the inauguration and start-up of this project, as I have been told, hopefully within this first quarter," he added.

    He noted that the council had asked his consultant to monitor developments at the port very closely and report back weekly.

    Jime explained that funding was key to delivering a dry port and that the shippers' council had hired a consultant, Mark Analytics, to help in that area.

    ”They have the capacity to help companies like yours to access funds. So I urge you to take advantage of it,” he added.

    While praising the efforts of the Katsina government, he urged other states to participate in promoting the public-private partnership agreement in the country.

    Earlier, the concessionaire appealed to the executive secretary to intervene in building a railway along the route and obtaining a license from NEPZA.

    “We have been in contact with the NRC for some time, making inquiries and complying with their requests, but unfortunately the actual construction of the railway has not taken place.

    “We have discussed with them, they have come to inspect and identify how the railway is going to be designed.

    “They are working on it, but we appeal to them to give one more push to see that the construction really begins.

    ”The other agency is NEPZA, we have applied and it was approved, but we are waiting for a decision.

    ”We have a lot of cash crops like cotton, which we want to export, we want to focus on export processing, but we need the license from NEPZA to be able to do that.

    ”We seek your support so that the project is fulfilled.

    Keep reading

    Source: NAN

  •  LFZ s Ficial Times award excites NEPZA
    LFZ’s Ficial Times’ award excites NEPZA
     LFZ s Ficial Times award excites NEPZA
    LFZ’s Ficial Times’ award excites NEPZA
    Economy10 months ago

    LFZ’s Ficial Times’ award excites NEPZA

    By Emmanuella Anokam The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) described the listing of the Lagos Free Zone as a “Highly Recommended Free Zone in Africa” by the Ficial Times FDI magazine as a consequence of the sustained reform of the federal government sector.

    Professor Adesoji Adesugba, CEO of NEPZA, made this known on Sunday in a statement by Mr. Martins Odeh, head of corporate communications, NEPZA in Abuja.

    Adesugba said LFZ's defeat of other world-class free zones on the continent also stemmed from the adoption of a world-class corporate governance system.

    “This award is therefore an important step in the advancement of the Lagos free zone being recognized on an equal basis with the best free zones selected in the world, it will help attract foreign investment into the economy.

    “This recognition shows that President Muhammed Buhari's vision and policy for an area rejuvenation operation is starting to yield the desired results.

    “NEPZA is sure of the sector's capacity to revive the country's economy.

    "So allow me, on behalf of the NEPZA management team and all the staff, to congratulate the LFZ management on this great outing," Adesugba said.

    The NEPZA boss, however, reiterated that the zone had shown long-term strategic thinking by redefining the priority of its priority industrial sub-sectors as the world moved towards shorter supply chains.

    LFZ, developed by the Singapore-based conglomerate, is the country's first private and port-integrated free zone.

    It is a multi-cluster area with a world-class infrastructure conceptualized as a modern and efficient industrial hub.

    Source: NAN