ABUJA (SundiataPost) – The new management of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority has opened discussion with the United Nations Industrial Development Authority (UNIDO) to review the operations of export processing zones in the country to ensure compliance with international best practice.
At a meeting attended by top management of the agency and representatives of UNIDO led by Shulammite Paul, NEPZA Managing Director, Professor Adesoji Adesugba said “the planned partnership is required to benchmark our operation as a regulator against the background of many challenges facing the FTZs and ahead of the heavy responsibilities on our agency under the African free trade regime”.
“ÜNIDO has done a lot in the area of best practice in the operation of free trade zones. In fact, the agency issued major international guidelines on the operations of free trade zones applicable all over the world. We want to see where we are with a view to institute measures to energize the free trade zones”.
“Our partnership is expected to be like a peer review. We are late and as such we must move extra fast to fix the FTZs. We need more factories to open shop and the existing ones to function at a maximum capacity. We must generate new jobs to engage our teeming youth and also boost our economy”, the MD said.
Responding, the representative of UNIDO, Ms Shulammite Paul, expressed the delight of the agency to collaborate with NEPZA, informing the meeting that UNIDO has a lot to offer in the area of best practice within the FTZs.
“This is a partnership we value and cherish. We urge the management to set machinery in motion to actualize the relationship”, she said.
A standing committee was subsequently set up to finalise arrangements for the take off of the partnership.