NIGERIA – The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have entered into partnership with the the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to develop infrastructure in the Free Trade Zones across the country.

According to NEPZA Acting Managing Director, Mr Bitrus Dawuk, the move will help to attract more foreign direct investments into the Nigerian economy.

Mr Bitrus Dawuk while addressing a delegation from the two multilateral financial institutions noted that one of the bottlenecks hindering the optimal performance of Free Trade Zones is NEPZA’s obsolete legislation that is in the process of being amended by the National Assembly.

 “NEPZA is ever ready to work with the World Bank and the IFC in  giving Nigeria a world class Free Zones as there are already measures in place to review the outdated regulations of NEPZA to make it more favourable for foreign investors to come in and invest in the country,” Mr. Dawuk said.

In his remark, the leader of the delegation, Mr Feyi Boroffice said the visit was aimed at strengthening relationship between the financial institutions and NEPZA.

He further noted that IFC and World Bank were also very interested in the Akwa Ibom Free Trade Zone project.

He thus appealed for the authority to give them an opportunity to participate in the project “for the total economic benefit of Nigeria.”

An Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is a Customs area where one is allowed to import plant, machinery, equipment and material for the manufacture of export goods under security, without payment of duty.

The imported goods are subject to customs control at importation, through the manufacturing process, to the time of sale/export, or duty payment for home consumption.

Other benefits of operating such enterprises include; free trade conditions, streamlined Government red tape allowing for one stop registration and licensing and also a facility of long term tax concession.