By Favour Nnabugwu
The Federal Government is to established Nigeria is established the University of Abuja as the first education Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Nigeria.
The education FTZ would be established on 11, 800 hectares of land at the university which has all kinds of mineral resources, and a mining centre.
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, who disclosed this on Friday, urged more universities in Nigeria to take part in the free trade zones scheme.
He added that NEPZA plans to partner with the University of Abuja and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce to bring industries closer to the students.
University FTZs: NEPZA Chief added the agency is working with the University of Abuja to establish a Free Trade Zone, which is built on 11,800 hectares of land and contains minerals that can be minded. He said
“We are now talking about the University free zone, education-free zone, technology-free zone, and knowledge-free zones; and we are working very closely with the University of Abuja in that regard.
“This is going to be one case that people are going to be very happy with. The University of Abuja has applied to be a free zone. It’s going to be the first such education-free zone.
“It is 10 minutes to the airport, 20 minutes to the city centre, 11,800 hectares of land with all kinds of mineral resources, free rivers, so it is going to be a mining centre.”
Industry and Academia: Adesugba added
that NEPZA plans to work with the university and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce to bring industries closer to the students, adding that the relationship would benefit both University and the industry. He said:
”Interns and university students having access to knowledge-based productive activities will also come into place; so it is going to be a fantastic thing.
”The best thing about the free zone is that the university lecturers and everybody within that community will have something to do.
They will always have something to do.
”There will be warehouses for industries, hotels for conferences; the rivers will provide the terrain good enough for the gulf. So we are going to have holidays and stuff at the university and it is going to be an amazing city. It’s a city within a city, it’s a dream.”
The NEPZA chief noted that this is the way to go; citing that there won’t be strikes as such agreements to do we do not allow strikes within the free trade zones.
“We will also ensure there is fairness, people will be appropriately paid, it is not just going to be lecturers asking for pay that the universities can’t afford. The University of Abuja is going to be the richest in Africa, by the time we finish with this concept we will be excited about it.”