NEPZA boss charges Ondo Chambers to develop special agro-allied district

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA),
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, has advised the Ondo Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (ONDOCIMA) to actively partner with Ondo State to establish a special agro-allied district for the production and processing of agricultural produce for export for economic growth of the state

Adesugba gave the advice while playing host to the new executive of the chambers in Abuja on Thursday.

The NEPZA boss, himself a pioneer member of that branch of the association, said that chamber movement was aimed at galvanising sound economic development, adding that ONDOCIMA was set up to make indelible and positive economic impact in the state.

“The chambers must without further delay constitute itself as an active development partner of the state by making itself an economic spring board in the state.

“This can happen speedily if a special agro-allied district for backward linkages in the production and processing of agricultural produce can be established.

“The new executive must begin to contemplate on securing large expanse of land in the state to establish this project as the enclave help to provide jobs and variety of businesses for members and residents of the state.

“Ondo State is blessed with arable land, suitable for all-year-round- farming. The association can also reserve a substantial portion of the proposed district for the production of cocoa which the state has comparative advantage on,’’ Adesugba said.

He explained that the pioneers of the state branch of the association had hatched the plans of having such a special agric site and other businesses as well, adding that a number of extraneously factors had made these dreams unrealisable.

“The chambers can only record good successes if it is less dependent on government. The leadership must activate interest and expertise of the members in order to achieve the set goals,’’ Adesugba said.

In a statement issued by Head, Communication of NEPZA, Mr Matthew Odeh, the Chief Executive noted that the association could become more potent and resulted-oriented if it regularly underwent projects’ assessment visitations to other sister associations, adding that members would use such tours for business knowledge acquisition and investment promotion exchanges.

Adesugba, therefore, said that NEPZA was prepared to partner the association in developing world class business templates that could make it become investment forerunner in the state.

The NEPZA boss explained also that the existence of the Akoko Chambers of Commerce, an adjunct of ONDOCIMA, which he assisted in establishing was a testament of years of strive to ensure that must local communities in the state were linked to the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

NEPZA MD and the ONDOCIMA executive during the visit in Lagos

 

Hon. Olugbenga Araoyinbo, President, ONDOCIMA, expressed delight on the warmth reception extended to him and his entourage by the NEPZA chief executive, adding that the visit was indeed an eye opener.

Araoyinbo said that Adesugba had continually proven that his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to led the movement of industrializing the country through the Free Trade Zone scheme was not a travesty.

He, however, explained that the new executive of the association had opened a new chapter in the administration of the chamber movement in state, adding that the association was prepared to join forces with the government in growing the economy.

“We are indeed grateful for the suggestion that the association establishes an agro-allied district where our members and investors can be involved in mechanized farming and processing of farm produce for local use and export.

“The association will in this light collaborate with NEPZA, our national body, the state government and investors to ensure that this plan is brought to fruition,’’ Araoyinbo said.

Mrs Modupe Olakunle, the immediate past President of the association, Dr Funmilola Williams, President, Akoko Chambers and Hon. Adeboro Onibalusi, PRO, ONDOCIMA were the video other officials on the entourage of the ONDOCIMA president.

ITF reels out new policy framework to tackle unemployment

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Industrial Training Fund, ITF, has reeled out a three-year strategic policy direction to enable the organization to achieve its mandate of fully tackling the numerous socio-economic problems bedeviling the nation.

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, Sir Joseph Ari who unveiled the policy document on Monday at a media briefing in Jos stressed that skills are the currency of the 21st century as he reminded the teeming youths in the country of the need to have relevant skills and create wealth because everyone must be involved in the governments’ efforts to effectively rid the country of the challenges of unemployment.

Sir Ari pointed out that the new strategy which has the theme: Re-Engineering Skills for Sustainable Development would scale up activities to address the soaring unemployment using the three Es of experience, expertise, expansive network, and other strategies from 2022 – 2025 hence the briefing is intended to fully acquaint the media of the plans so they can be effectively communicated to Nigerians what the Fund intends to do going forward.

His words, “… Unemployment in Nigeria today is at over 33% as over 23 million Nigerians that are desirous to work cannot find jobs, mostly because of the absence of requisite skills.

Poverty is equally on the rise with some estimates placing the number of Nigerians that are living in poverty to be over 90 million. In the face of all these, our population has continued to soar with the World Bank estimating that Nigeria might hit 216 million by the end of this year. Equally worrisome is the spectre of the Out of School Children, which according to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is projected to be over 18.5 million.

“Although the Federal Government and, indeed, governments at all levels have implemented measures to tackle these challenges, it has become increasingly obvious that efforts have to be redoubled by all and sundry for us to effectively rid the country of these challenges.

In line with our mandate of developing a vast pool of skilled manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the public and private sectors of the national economy coupled with resolutions at the recently concluded ITF National Skills Summit in Abuja that we found it imperative to review and refocus our strategies to address the above challenges and to meet the skills required of the nation in line with global best practices.

“We considered the need to scale up our activities to address the soaring unemployment and other socio-economic challenges by leveraging on our three Es (Experience, Expertise, and Expansive network), deployment of technology for wider coverage, and more flexible service delivery. The new policy framework, which has as its theme: Re-Engineering Skills for Sustainable Development has external and internal components.

The internal components of the plan, which entail value reorientation, Industrial Development, Commercialization of ITF facilities, Alternative Funding Window, Deployment, and Promotion, Annual Budget Preparation, and, Revenue Generation is intended to drive the external components of the new policy direction, which covers Standardization and Certification, Technical and Vocational Skills Training Programmes, Skills Intervention Programmes, Electronic, and Virtual Learning and, Optimal Utilization of Skills Training Centres (STCs) and Vocational Wings (VWs)…”

He further explained that “the Fund will focus on ensuring full adherence to standards and regulating vocational skills training outfits through the accreditation of skills training centres and certification of all skills training.

The Fund will develop National Occupational Standards (NOS); Evaluate and certify apprentices, technicians, and craftsmen; Train and certify learning and development professionals and; Create and maintain a data bank on skills training. The Fund is set to refocus Technical and Vocational Skills Training for employability and economic growth by facilitating the institutionalization of the National Apprenticeship and Traineeship System (NATS).

“The Fund will collaborate with relevant public and private stakeholders for NATS; appraise and harmonize Apprenticeship programmes in line with set guidelines; conduct monitoring and evaluation and; design and develop technical and vocational skills programmes in line with the needs of the economy.

“When fully in place, our plan will ensure a pool of highly skilled indigenous apprentices, technicians, and craftsmen as well as an institutionalized National Apprenticeship and Traineeship System (NATS)…

“The intended outcome of this strategy is to have at least a total of 27,000 skilled and employable youths (18,000 trained youths under the NATS and 9,000 youth under the NISDP and other intervention programmes) and increased SMEs and Entrepreneurs to meet the Nation’s economic needs…”

He expressed optimism that “the new policy framework if fully implemented will place us in better stead to fully implement our mandate and drive the achievement of Federal Government’s goals with particular reference to unemployment, poverty, and their associated consequences,” but “it must be noted that for us to replicate such successes, the problem of the perception that skills acquisition is the preserve of a section of our society has to be overcome because this prejudice has discouraged people from perceiving skills acquisition as a real and better alternative to white-collar jobs.”

End.

NEPZA, FIRS agree to adjust FTZs new tax system

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have agreed to adjust some sections of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the efficient management of the free trade zones tax system in order to accommodate salient concerns of the stakeholders.

The Managing Director, NEPZA,. Mr. Adesoji Adesugba, explained that the event was to make adjustments where necessary on how the FIRS and NEPZA would treat tax issues relating to business interactions within the free trade zone ecosystem.

He noted that section 5 of the MoU had given parties the leverage to call for the amendment of the tax guidelines when necessary.

“The Authority’s recent diplomatic advances with sisters agencies, especially, the FIRS can only be described as a game changer. We now see ourselves as partners in progress.

“We have always insisted that the free trade zone scheme must be allowed to succeed as that truly remains a potent economic instrument for widespread growth and development.

“Therefore, we have agreed to adjust the tax pact to capture some of the salient concerns of the stakeholders.
“The Authority will not sheer away from protecting the scheme and those who have invested billions of dollars in the scheme. We are delighted that the FIRS has become our advocate in this regard.

” We are also happy that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari has given us the impetus through his favourable policies to deepen the growth of the scheme,” he said.

Recall that the agencies on June 7 signed the tax pact to reconcile all grey areas in the administration on issues bordering tax deductions from free zones and enterprises operating in the zones respectively.
The agreement to adjust the MoU was reached on Wednesday during a roundatable where the document was formally presented to the stakeholders in Lagos.

A cross section of the Stakeholders had raised concerns on some sections of the guidelines as according to them, those sections contravened some provisions of the NEPZA Act for operators in the free zones.

The Executive Chairman of the FIRS  Alhaji Mohammed Nina had promised to evaluate the concerns of the stakeholders, adding the document was a flexible guideline on how to administer the MoU.

Represented by Mr Mathew Gbonjubola, the Coordinating Director of the service, Nina said that not all the concerns raised were genuine, adding that the FIRS was knowledgeable enough on issues around free trade zone tax administration.

Nina explained that the service would not unduly interrogate tax remittances of enterprises with full status of free trade zones, adding that the service would, however, always insist on remittances of returns, Valued Added Tax (VAT), and Withholding Tax, respectively.

He further noted that all other issues raised on the tax pact would be addressed within two months.

On his part, Chief Toyin Elegbede, the Executive-Secretary of the Nigeria Economic Zones Association (NESA), said that the forum became important to address the concerns of his members on the tax administration pact signed between NEPZA and FIRS.

According to him, “The discussions from forum elicited hopes and assurances on the commitment of government to support the in-flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through the free trade zone scheme.
The forum was attended by Chief Executives of free zones, enterprises, contractors, consultants and other key stakeholders.

NEPZA commends President Buhari steps to align FTZ with global best practices

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s steps to align Free Trade Zone aligned with the global rules and regulations guiding the scheme.

Managing Director of NEPZA,  Prof. Adesoji Adesugba stated this on Saturday while responding to the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 that passed Senate second reading on Wednesday.

The bill seeks to ensure the sustainability of the business climate and to give statutory force to Executive Order 001 of 2017 on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the country’s business space.

This bill also aims at amending specific laws relating to ease of doing business including the reconciliation of the provisions of NEPZA Act and the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) to recognize the exemption of the free trade zone companies licensed by NEPZA from the country’s normal company registration processes.

The NEPZA chief executive officer said that the development was long awaited, adding that the president’s action simply ensured that the scheme was administered according to global rules and regulations guiding the operation of free trade zones.

“We have always viewed the call in some quarters to subject the registration of free trade zone companies to the CAMA Act as a farce and not in line with the tenets of the scheme anywhere in the world. It is the responsibility of NEPZA as the regulatory body to carry out that role as a truly one-stop-shop.

“This bill, when eventually passed into law would restore the confidence of free trade zone operators and enterprises on the country’s capacity and political will to manage the scheme in line with international best practices,’’ The NEPZA boss said.

Adesugba, however, noted that the continued call for the amendment of the NEPZA Act 63 of 1992 had been further accentuated by this bill, adding that the almost 30 years Act had a number of incongruous clauses that must be amended to allow for the seamless administration of the scheme.

“We are particularly enthused and happy that President Muhammadu Buhari has always insisted that the administration of the scheme aligns more with the global rules and regulations that guide operation of the free trade zone.

“This step taken by the Executive arm of government to give legislative backing to Order 001 of 2017 made by Mr President is a testament to this administration’s relentless commitment to significantly improve the country’s business and investment climate,’’ he said.

MAN faults high inflation rate on macroeconomic inadequacies 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has faulted the high inflation rate in Nigeria on macroeconomic inadequacies, and faulted the recent hike in the monetary policy rate (MPR) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Director-General of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said this in statements made on, Friday, said the CBN moves are not  manufacturing friendly.

Ajayi-Kadir  however warned that urgent steps must be taken to address the contributing factors to the escalating inflation rate to avoid economic recession.

“MAN strongly believe that high inflation is a major indication of macroeconomic inadequacies and failure to take steps to address the contributory factors will further limit economic growth and increase the rate of unemployment in the country.”

Ajayi-Kadir listed the implications of the high inflation rate for the manufacturing sector to include: “rising increase in cost of production inputs with trickle down effects on capacity utilization, inventory and profitability of manufacturing firms; higher MPR and lending interest rate, which will further constrained access to credit and increase the cost of borrowing for manufacturers, especially those in the SMI cadre and upward swing in the value of shares for manufacturing concerns listed on the stock exchange.

“It will also have differing implications like reduction in demand for manufactured products leading to poor sales and turnover; lower competitiveness as the high inflation rate further mounts pressures on the already very high-cost operating environment, which may hinder the prospect of beneficial trade in the region and the continent”.

To avert the negative trickle-down effects of high inflation on the economy and the manufacturing sector, MAN called on government to, among other things, deploy a bouquet of supply-driven policies back with more structural measures to combat the peculiar inflationary pressures from insecurity, energy and transport cost, and resolve all forex related challenges confronting the productive sector.

In the same vein, the MAN DG said that the hike in MPR represents another level of increase in interest rates on loanable funds, thus upscale the intensity of the crowding out effect on the private sector businesses.

“Clearly, the increase in MPR has widened the journey farther away from the preferred single digit interest rate regime. It is not manufacturing friendly considering the myriad of binding constraints already limiting the performance of the sector.

“It will spur upward review of existing lending rates dependent obligations of manufacturing concerns, which will drive costs northward; Lead to rising cost of manufacturing inputs, which will naturally translate to higher prices of goods, low sales and enormous volume of inventory of unsold products; and Further reduce capacity utilization, upscale the rate of unemployment, incidences of crime and insecurity as the capacity of banks to support production and economic growth is heavily constrained.

According to him, “MAN is therefore concerned about the ripple effects of this decision and its implications for the manufacturing sector that is visibly struggling to survive the numerous strangulating fiscal and monetary policy measures and reforms”.

NIPC sets new target for FDI routes to Nigeria

By Favour Nnabugwu
The re-appointed Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, Saratu Umar has set a target for Foreign Direct Investment routes for the country.
Umar stated at the inauguration in Abuja today,  “Yesterday is gone. Today is a new day. The past is a place of learning, not a place of living. “We must stay focused on today and tomorrow, and how to make tomorrow an even greater day.”
She pledged to reposition the NIPC to attract new routes of foreign investments into Nigerian to shore up the dwindling revenue of the government and the much needed jobs.
The NIPC executive said that the NIPC will support the federal government’s various general and sectoral policies, and executive pronouncements and take to a logical conclusion the National Investment Promotion Masterplan which is aimed at having clear actions that key into the government’s various sectoral masterplans and policies.
She said “We will orchestrate and execute targeted investment drives along country-specific, investor-specific, sector-specific, industry-specific, regional-specific, and investment-type specific strategies to facilitate FDI (and LDI – Local Direct Investment) that fit into Nigeria’s development and investment needs, in an inclusive, coordinated, tangible, measurable and effective manner.”
“We will logically conclude the National Investment Promotion Coordination Framework, to provide a clear strategy for a seamless collaboration and coordination of the Investment eco-system, as well as usher in a robust and effective stakeholder communication and engagement. This will result in effective partnerships between NIPC and critical stakeholders including the international community and development partners.
“We will listen to, and work with, our stakeholders. Indeed, within the next two months, we will hold the second series of our stakeholder engagement which we started in 2014, with various key stakeholder sessions to discuss their challenges, interact, and obtain feedback towards resolving them and creating synergies that facilitate impact.”
“Global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) markets over the last decade have become more competitive, and the investment promotion thrusts of countries that are attracting the largest global market share of FDI inflows are driven by effective, efficient, and performance-driven Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs). With over 170 IPAs worldwide competing to channel FDI to their different countries, it is imperative that the NIPC is positioned to ensure Nigeria wins in this global market.
This is especially important with the onset of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement which is now in force. In 2021, a UN report noted that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Africa grew by 147 percent; this has accentuated the race by African economies to showcase their investment climate reforms and business-friendly policies, facilitated by very competitive IPAs that are vying for a greater share of inbound investment.
Critical shifts in the AfCTA and ECOWAS Investment Protocols, as well as the on-going development of the national investment promotion policy, the national trade policy and the national industrial development policy, require that the central and strategic role of the NIPC in the coordination of all investment promotion activities in the Nigerian Economy, should be established, enshrined and repositioned as envisaged in its enabling Law, without prejudice.
“Therefore, as it was in 2014, so it is in 2022: I am still fully committed to excellence and professionalism. If you would recall, my vision when I assumed duty in 2014 was: “to transform NIPC into a gold standard of excellence on the African Continent and a world-class Investment Promotion Agency, that is comparable to any in the world”.
NEPZA attracts $1bn investment to Niger State

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Nigeria Export Processing Authority (NEPZA) has achieved another feat in nation’s economic development by striking yet again a $1billion investment in Niger State.

Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba stated this while handing over an approved Free Trade Zone declaration license to officials of the investing company, Hydropolis Investment Limited in Abuja.

Recall that the Authority on July 8 secured an investment worth $100m at the Medical/Pharmaceutical Special Economic Zone in Lekki, Lagos for the production of a variety of medical equipment.Adesugba, explained that the Authority was assiduously scouting for investment to assist both the Federal Government and the sub-nationals to bridge the country’s development deficits speedily.

He said that the Authority was enthused in delivering an operative free trade zone license to Hydropolis Investment Limited, adding that the now Hydropolis Free Trade Zone occupied 2000 hectares of land at Amfani Village in Magama Local Government in Niger State.

The NEPZA managing director further said that the new zone was set to commit over One billion US Dollar to establish an Industrial Park, Smart City and a world class Cargo International Airport that would provide backward linkages for both local and foreign businesses.

He said that the development was another economic milestone as the zone was bound to positively impact on the country’s employment profile and Gross Domestic Product.Similarly, Dr Abdulmalik Ndagi, Managing Director, Hydropolis Investment Limited, expressed satisfaction on the speedy nature of the approval, describing the zone as an ideal economic pivotal for the entire country, as according to him, the zone will be a replica of Lekki Free Trade Zone in the North Central region of the country.

He further said that the strategic location of the zone to the Kainji Dam gave it the desired edge, adding also that the business ecosystem had already struck a deal with the federal government to source its electricity from the Dam.

“We are sincerely indebted to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo as well as the NEPZA MD/CEO, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba for their efforts and magnanimity in ensuring this becomes a reality. “As a business venture, we are promising to leverage on this confidence reposed on us to contribute our quota to the development of this great nation

`Work has commenced in the location and we hope to roundoff the development of the internal infrastructure like road networks, offices, fencing, electricity before November when the president shall be inaugurating this world class business haven,’’ Ndagi said.

NEPZA secures $100m investment in Lekki Medical/Pharms Special FZ

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has secured an anchor tenant, Ash Biomedical Diagnostics Limited has invested initial $100 million capital in the production of variety of medical equipment in the freshly approved Medical/Pharmaceutical Special Free Zone in Lekki, Lagos.

In a statement released by Martins Odeh, the Head Corporate Communication of NEPZA, stated that  Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA Managing Director, dropped the hint on Thursday after a meeting with the company’s team led by its Managing Director/CEO, Mr Ade Shodeinde in Abuja.

Adesugba said that the breakthrough hinged on the Authority’s relentless investment campaigns and drives across targeted investment potentials within and outside of the country.

The managing director explained that the company had scaled through series of tests and financial evaluations aimed at determining its capacity to carry out the expected tasks.

The NEPZA boss said that Ash Biomedical Diagnostics Limited had a solid investment capital base, adding, also, that the Authority became more convinced with the company’s capacity to deliver on the expectations after being exposed to its famous and worldclass foreign partners.
“Today can only be described as a turning point in our pursuit to bring in world class medical enterprises to the Lekki medical free zone.

“Recall that we announced in March 21 that scores of prospective anchor tenants came to us seeking to establish world class hospitals and pharmaceutical industries in the Lekki medical special free zone with the aim to end the unnecessary medical tourism abroad.

“Let me reiterate that we are indeed opened to bringing into the zone world class pharmaceutical companies to serve not only Nigeria, but Africa and the rest of the world from Lekki. The prospects of the zone are unimaginable and we are glad for securing an anchor tenant that will immediately open up the place for operation,’’ Adesugba said.

Adesugba further said that the Authority was still prepared to relax perceived stringent rules to ensure the comfort of anchor tenants, adding that the future gains that could accrue to investors who dared to first explore the zone usually would out-weigh the initial challenges.

The Lekki medical special free zone remains a business hot-spot with opportunities for other business chains ranging from transport/logistics, electricity, estate development, tourism/hospitality among others.

The NEPZA chief executive officer further explained that investors should prospect similar zones in Katsina and Ilorin, adding that the Federal Government expected the sub-nationals to leverage on all free zone types to fast track the nation’s industrialisation.

In another development, the Authority has agreed to midwife the forthcoming Nigeria (Kano) and Chinese Business Forum aimed at bridging investment exchanges between Nigeria and China.

Adesugba said this when he played host to Mr Wu Bai Cai, Directory Officer from the Chinese Embassy in Abuja.

The NEPZA chief executive officer explained that it was about time Nigeria and China stepped up their economic relations to a more sophisticated height, adding that NEPZA was assiduously working hard to use the free trade zone to ignite development as done by China.

Bao-Cai expressed delight in the meeting, adding that China had not hidden its interest in using its wealth, technology and human capital to assist in the development of the African continent.

He said, the forthcoming forum would be a platform where all areas of investment needs of the country should be evaluated for possible exploration.

“We have many Chinese businesses seeking to set up in Nigeria from where they can serve the rest of the world. Nigeria will become a hub for many Chinese manufacturing companies. For instance, we are looking for avenues to start the manufacturing of electric cars in Nigeria among others

The Kano State Government and Hon. Adamu Fanda, Chairman NEPZA Board are among the long list of the facilitators of the forthcoming forum

President Buhari approves appointment of Fasanya as SMEDAN’s DG

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

ABUJA- President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr. Olawale Tunde Fasanya as the new Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN.

The appointment which took effect from 6th June 2022 was contained in a letter dated 23rd June 2022 and signed by the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo CON.

A statement signed by Ibrahim Kaula Mohammed, Deputy Director/Head, Corporate Affairs unit of the agency described Fasanya as a seasoned technocrat and a certified Business Development Advisor with a proven track record of landmark accomplishments of thirty-five years in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs ecosystem in Nigeria.

Born on June 3rd, 1962 in Ogbomosho, Osun state , Fasanya holds a Bachelor of Art degree in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 1985.

He is also a holder of Advanced Certificate in Public Relations from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and a Masters in Public Administration from the Lagos State University, Lagos in 1994.

A lover of knowledge, Fasanya also parades a legion of other qualifications including a Diploma in Market Business Development Service from the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization, ILO, among others.

He is due for the award of PhD in Public Policy Analysis and Management from the University of America.

He started his working career in a publishing firm, Jator Publishing Company Ibadan, Oyo state as deputy editor/administrative officer.
He switched into public service, joining the National Productivity Centre , NPC, Abuja where he served as Productivity Officer, Senior Productivity Officer, Assistant Chief Public Relations Officer, and Chief Public Relations Officer between August 1998 to June 1999.

Mr Fasanya also served as Personal Assistant to Hon. Minister of State, Ministry of Defence between June 1999 to February 2002 and later Special Assistant to the Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals between February 2002 to May 2003.

He was a pioneer staff of SMEDAN when it was set up in 2003 serving as a Special Assistant to the Pioneer Director General/CEO of the Agency, Mrs. Modupe Adelaja and was overseeing all units under the Director General’s Office as Deputy Director and Group Head, Corporate Affairs.

He was appointed acting DG of SMEDAN between July to December 2008 and later as Group Head, Strategic Planning, Policy and Coordination between April 2009- January 2011.

Mr. Fasanya upon his promotion in January 2011, was appointed Director, Strategic Planning Policy and Coordination, a position he held till October 2014 when he was promoted as Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, the engine room of the agency, a position he held till 2018 when he was appointed to another strategic position as Director, Policy Planning, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, a position he distinguished himself so well till his retirement from the civil service on 3rd June, 2022.

He was a member, ECOWAS committee on the production of MSMEs Development Charter for Member States (2012-2014) as well as Head of secretariat, National Council on MSMEs, among others.

New security outfit will raise investments in free zones – NEPZA

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the newly inaugurated Special Economic Zone Security (SEZSEC) outfit will cause an upsurge of investments in the zones.

The Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, said this at the passing-out ceremony of 40 officers of the SEZSEC, on Saturday in Lagos.

The the one-month training, was carried out in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS).

According to Adesugba, the outfit was borne out of the need to further strengthen the existing security architecture and provide adequate security to lives and properties in the free zones.

Adesugba, who was represented by Dr Oyesola Oyekunle, Director Finance and Accounts, said the authority suffered its share of the poor security situation when hoodlums invaded the Tinapa Free Zone in Calabar and a lot of investments were lost.

He said the outfit would create a safe and secure environment for the zones’ employees, facilities, contracted service providers, members of the public, the special economic zones and NEPZA resources.

“It is no gainsaying that this singular action will cause an upsurge of investment into the zones as investors look to invest in places where their invest will be secured,” he said.

Adesugba, however said the outfit was not created to dislodge the existing zones’ security structure rather it was established to reinforce the collaborative force of sister security services.

Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, lauded the creation of the SEZSEC unit, adding that the decision was apt to secure and keep the special economic zone (SEZ) safe and give confidence to investors.

Adebayo, represented by Babagana Alkali, Director Policy Planning, Research and Statistics, tasked NEPZA to make the zones more attractive to investors, provide high quality infrastructure and be a one-stop shop that would positively impact the economy.

He said the Federal Government offers a number of economic incentives that would attract foreign companies to operate in the SEZs.

These incentives included: full tax holidays for three consecutive year; duty free importation; hundred percent repatriation of capital, profits and dividends; exemption from all import and export licenses; land is rent free for the first six months for any construction project undertaken in the zone.

Mr Salami Ajege, Commandant, States Services Academy (SSA), said the security outfit was expected to gather intelligence that would help combat economic sabotage, boost trade and other related activities wherever they were deployed.

Ajege said to achieve their mandate, the unit would need to ensure professionalism in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities.

He urged them to be smart, diligent, determined to succeed, discreet with information and be ever ready to confront challenges they will be faced with in discharging their duties.

“For no reason whatsoever should you become vulnerable to be used against national interest or national security,” he said.

Also, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) urged the team to learn the rules that guide other government organisations they would work with to avoid stepping on each others toes.

Ali, who was represented by Catherine Ekekezie, Deputy Comptroller-General in-charge of Excise, Free Trade Zones and Industrial Incentives Department, cautioned the personnel against going on a “one-man patrol” to avoid running into trouble.