The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority [NEPZA], Prof. Adesoji Adesugba said on Wednesday in Calabar that the free trade zone scheme in the country was a presidential initiative aimed at gingering economic growth through local production.
He said this while speaking with some operators of enterprises in Calabar explaining that the scheme is simply a business enclave out of the customs area. He posit that the enterprises operating in the zones are not taxable. “This is an aspect where the various tax agencies must come to terms with” he quipped.
The NEPZA boss stressed that enterprises plying their trade in the zones must be allowed to enjoy free tax regime which is the initial idea for designing the scheme.
Adesugba who is on official tour of the zone in Calabar having done similar visits to Kano and Lagos zones said president Buhari was fully committed to ensuring the success of the scheme notwithstanding that the scheme could affect government revenue generation in a short term, but would boost local production, create employment, attract Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] for industrialization the long run.
He acknowledged the multiple challenges associated with zones operations assuring that FG was making arrangement which is already in advance stage to upgrade electricity supplies to both Calabar and kano free trade zones.
However, he said the public and private sectors must agree to work together in order to jointly solve some of the problems negating the smooth operations of the scheme in the country. The tough talking MD urged the staff of the Authority in the zone to develop a renewed vigour toward facilitating the achievement of the agency’s mandate, adding that the management would no longer condone untoward