James Emejo and Folalumi Alaran in Abuja
The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba has commended the N1.5 billion investment drive by Sunbelt Free Zone Enterprise into the Kano Free Trade Zone.
He said the capital injection was an outcome of sustained intervention by the federal government to maintain the zone as an investors’ attractive anchorage.
Adesugba, while receiving the Executive Director of the enterprise, Alhaji Murtala Jega in his office, stated that the authority and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment had so far collaborated seamlessly in executing President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on using the scheme to generate employment for the country’s teeming youth population.
Sunbelt which specialises in the manufacturing of fabrics and textiles was licensed on December 12, 2019 as a partnership firm jointly owned by four investors including three Chinese and a Nigerian.
However, the MD, in a statement by Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, Mr. Martins Odeh, said when operational, Sunbelt has the capacity of engaging 3000 direct and indirect labour.
He added: “We are happy with this feat. This is the kind of investment the federal government is expecting us to sustain. It is the authority’s desire at this stage to position Nigeria for competitiveness in order to benefit maximally from the new Africa free trade regime made possible by the African Continental Free Trade Zone Agreement (ACFTA).
“It is our fervent prayer to diligently work within the purview of the mandate of actualizing the country’s industrialisation. In doing this, we shall not disappoint the president and the nation.”
On the N1.4 billion approval recently given by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the upgrade of electricity facilities at the Calabar Free Trade Zone, Adesugba, said the development was a genuine disposition of Buhari’s commitment to use the zone scheme as one of the key drivers of the nation’s economy.
He noted that similar overture had been extended to the Kano zone for upgrade of its electricity to 25 Megawatts scalable to 150 megawatts as the need expands, adding that the two public zones had the capacity to scale up local production significantly when fully supported.