By James Emejo in Abuja
The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has highlighted the benefits of the Public-Private Partnership with the Abia State Government and Crown Realties Plc for the development of Enyimba Economic City in Abia State.
The partnership, according to a statement from the Strategy and Communication Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Bisi Daniels, was one of many under a programme to develop special economic zones in the country, for which stakeholder engagement was ongoing.
Other projects under the Public-Private Partnership model, which are to serve as pilot projects are in Katsina and Lagos states.
“The federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a major strategic tool to accelerate the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan through the manufacturing of goods for exports,” Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechwuku Enelamah, was quoted to have said.
“Accordingly, Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports), was envisioned by the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment and the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), 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,” the minister added.
Project MINE among others, seeks to aid structural transformation of the Nigerian economy by increasing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product to 20 per cent by 2025; contribute to sustainable inclusive growth by creating 1.5 million new manufacturing jobs in the initial phase of the project; increase and diversify foreign exchange earnings by increasing manufacturing sector exports to at least US$30 billion annually by 2025; and create local models of global best practice in provision of world class infrastructure at competitive costs connecting SEZs to international and regional markets with transport links, uninterrupted power, ICT, water, sewage and other services to ensure smooth and efficient operation of SEZ businesses.
Other benefits include to promote the “cluster” effect to be gained by locating similar export-oriented manufacturing businesses within the same locality; attract world class investors with strong positions in global supply chains and investors with potential to increase the scale of operations rapidly to set up operations in SEZs and create an enabling environment for SEZ businesses by instituting best in class legal and regulatory frameworks, using technology and streamlined processes to facilitate movement of people, goods and capital and easy access to government services, approvals and permits.
The first phase of the project is to focus on the development and upgrade of SEZs in 12 states across Nigeria, following which the initiative will be extended to other States in subsequent phases. This involves, among others, partnering with the private sector to develop new world-class SEZs in Abia, Katsina and Lagos as pilot projects to demonstrate proof of concept and provide models for future SEZ development Nigeria.