Agency to raise $500 million for Nigeria’s economic zones — Minister

Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah
Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah

The Nigeria Special Economic Zone Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO) is to raise $500 million for investments in Nigeria’s Special Economic Zones, Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, has said.

The Minister said this is part of the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment through the provision of the necessary infrastructure for investors in the zones.

NSEZCO is a special purpose vehicle set up by the Federal Government to facilitate public-private partnerships with development finance institutions and other investors to develop Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country.

The Minister said the company would offer world-class infrastructure and facilities at competitive costs and an enabling environment for export-oriented manufacturing activities.

He spoke at a meeting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had with representatives of the investment partners of NSEZCO, including the African Export-Import Bank, Bank of Industry, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Africa Finance Corporation and the African Development Bank.

The meeting was also attended by the company’s legal advisers, Aluko & Oyebode.

At the meeting, the VP assured the NSEZCO strategic investment partners and advisers of the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of special economic zones across the country.

The spokesperson to the VP, Laolu Akande, who represented his principal, also condemned the recent misrepresentations about the creation of NSEZCO, saying any embarrassment to prospective investors was regrettable.

Mr Akande said the VP reaffirmed the Federal Government’s endorsement of the strategies plans put in place for the actualisation of the SEZs.

The VP also assured the investors of the readiness of the Buhari administration to offer all the support required to complete their investments in the company.

“It is the vision and plan of the Buhari Administration to be the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in Sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of manufactured products,” Mr Osinbajo said through his aide.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports), a Presidential priority intervention project using the SEZs to boost manufacturing’s share of the gross domestic product (GDP) to 20 per cent.

The initiated is also expected to help generate $30 billion in annual export earnings and create over 1.5 million new jobs in the export-oriented manufacturing value chain in the country.

According to him, the project was fundamental for the country as industrialization is a major pillar of the country’s Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who was also at the meeting, explained to the investors that the recent investigation into the affairs of the company was to establish the integrity of the Federal Government and the propriety of its actions.

He also restated that the Federal Government has no intention to frustrate investment in the company and its smooth take-off.

The Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, and Regional Chief Operating Officer – Anglophone West Africa, African Export-Import Bank, Abdoulaye Kone, spoke on behalf of the investors.

Gbenga Oyebode, who spoke on behalf of the advisers, reaffirmed their commitment to the project.

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