NEPZA spits fire on contractors willful projects’ delays

By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has warned against willfully prolong execution of assigned projects with the hope of triggering `variation clause’.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of the Authority, dropped the hint in Abuja said the the Authority will not hesitate call up contract bonds from contracted companies that delay projects
Adesugba while receiving Report of the NEPZA 2017-2021 Capital Projects from the Joint Capital Projects Monitoring Committee made up of members from the Authority and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, mafe clear to contractors.
In a statement released by Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, Martins Odeh, the NEPZA boss said that he had insisted in the transparent conducts of contracts bidding processes since assuming leadership of the agency in 2020, adding that the management would not hesitate in sounding out erring contractors.
“I have for these past years stood on my resolve to ensure transparency and due process and probity in the manner in which all contracts are handled here”
“We shall, therefore, not waste time in retrieving contract bonds from contracted companies that needlessly breach agreed terms. We have to insist that the Federal Government obtains quality service from the huge spending it is making to improve the infrastructure of the country’s Free Trade Zone,’’ the NEPZA boss said.
He, therefore expressed delight on the supervision tours embarked by the committee, adding that the Report had brought out all the gray areas that required urgent handling.
Adesugba explained that the Report would serve as an evaluation guide, adding that it was also opened to the public and all relevant institutions of government to study.
The NEPZA chief executive officer also said that the Report would be updated in February 2023 after a follow-up assessment of the remaining ongoing projects would be been conducted.
Recall that the committee rounded-off scheduled inspections of 112 approved projects for the Authority in September.
These projects, came under the NEPZA Tender Board of 2017-2021, direct Federal Executive Council approval and the Ministerial Tender Board of Capital Projects respectively.
Out of these 112 projects, a total of 76 have been completed with the CFTZ accounting for 28; KFTZ 38; Lekki SEZ 5; and Ilorin SEZ 5 while others are at different levels of completion.
Global Center on Adaptation, Invesco collaborate on climate adaptation

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) signs its first cooperation agreement with the EMEA division of Invesco focused on an investment strategy in the climate adaptation space.

The agreement, expected to become fully operational at COP27, is specifically targeted at exploring a blended finance strategy that aims to increase adaptation investment in developing markets.

The MoU was signed at the margins of the ongoing Finance in Commons Summit organised by the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.Invesco is an independent investment management firm that offers a wide range of single-country, regional and global capabilities across primary equity, fixed income, and alternative asset classes, delivered through a diverse set of investment vehicles.

Invesco is a signatory to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Climate Action 100+ and CDP2 (score B in 2020); and has adopted the Network for Greening the Financial System’s (NGFS) scenarios to assess physical and transition risks across a broader range of asset classes.

GCA is an international organization that aims to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions in partnership with the public and private sector.Speaking during the signing ceremony, Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation said: “Private sector investments currently make up less than 2% of climate adaptation spending. We hope through working closely with our partners at Invesco we will be able to unlock and mobilize more private capital to prepare for and respond to the physical impacts of climate change.

”Matthieu Grosclaude Chief Operating Officer EMEA at Invesco commented:“We are very pleased to be partnering with the GCA on this important initiative to accelerate climate adaptation finance. It aligns strongly with our strong investment capabilities in emerging markets and our continued focus on clients’ partnerships. We very much look forward to working together to build a climate resilient future.

NEPZA boss lauds appointment of Oluwasoromidayo George as Chairman MANEG

CAPTION:
Mrs Oluwasoromidayo George, newly appointed Chairman MANEG.
By Favour Nnabugwu
Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has described the appointment of the new Chairman, Manufacturer Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG)  Mrs Oluwasoromidayo George, as a new dawn for the country’s export sector.
 Prof. Adessoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of NEPZA made the remark in a congratulatory message to the new appointee on Sunday in Abuja.
Adesugba, also the Chief Executive Office of the Authority, said that it was time for the Organised Private Sector to re-organise itself more profoundly in order to increase collaborations with relevant government agencies to speed up the country’s economic growth.
He explained that the association had, however, consistently shown its capacity to assist government in driving production, adding that George’s appointment indicated the readiness of the group to commit to a competitive export arena.
“Oluwasoromidayo George remains a fantastic asset for the country and for the organized private sector with incredible cognate experience in diverse areas of the economy. We are hopeful that her reign will increase the country’s export profiles significantly.
“For us in NEPZA, we look forward to deepening our collaboration with her office to boost the country’s industrialization process as well.
“Let me, therefore, congratulate her on this new appointment and also to express my delight on the series of strides made by MAN over the years to grow the nation’s economy,’’ he said.
George is also the Corporate Affairs & Sustainable Business Director, Unilever, West Africa and the Chairperson of the UN Global Compact Network, Nigeria.
She is a Co-Chair of CEO Water Mandate Council, representing the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
She was the first female Executive Director of the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN) and the Head of Corporate Affairs, British American Tobacco (BAT) in West and Central Africa.
Agencies multiple charges cost Nigeria $250 bn agro-export produce – NEPZA

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) has said that government agencies have not done well to import and export with complicated roadblocks costing the country US$250billon on agro-export produce to the country alone.

This is just as it has said that eleven (11) out of sixteen (16) sundry charges are illegal stressing that some of these has caused international cargo airlines to prefer flying out of Nigeria empty.

In his presentation, Aviation & Cargo Export in Nigeria, at the 2nd Edition of Aviation and Cargo Conference Managing Director/CEO – NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba made this known highlighting some challenges that are militating against import and exports in the country.

He was represented by Assistant Director Investor Promotion, Augustine Onyekwere who presented his paper at the event.

Professor Adesugba said, “Among the 16 sundry charges tracked for goods coming in or departing the country via airports, only five are officially recognised. Nigeria’s import-to- export airfreight ratio imbalance stood at 87:13 from available statistics.

“The implication according to cargo agencies is loss of at least about USD 250 billon on agro-export produce to the country.

He mentioned other challenges to include, lack of modern Infrastructure, lack of corporate governance, policy and regulation, high cost of aviation fuel, inadequate funding and resources, high cost of operation, insecurity, insurance and corruption.

Adesugba noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to support the Aviation Industry and stimulate multiplier effects in the economy in May 2021 designated the four (4) Major International Airports (Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt) respectively as Special Economic Zones to enable the companies operating at these airports enjoy the benefits of the Free zone scheme.

Stating that ASEZ are designed to accelerate investment in the Aviation sector and its value chain, improve the utilization of the airports, generate more revenues for the Federal Government as well as attract more local and foreign direct Investment and increase aviation contribution to the GDP.

According to him, “SEZ can grow the aviation and cargo export in Nigeria with the incentives and concessions available in the Nigeria Free Zones with concepts like tax holidays, one stop approvals as well as 100% foreign ownership of businesses.

He said, “Complete tax holiday from all Federal, State and Local Government taxes, rates, customs duties and levies, one-stop approvals for all permits, operating licenses and incorporation papers. Duty-free, tax-free import of raw materials and components for goods destined for re-export.

“Duty-free importation of capital goods, consumer goods, machinery, equipment, and furniture.

Permission to sell 100 percent of manufactured, assembled or imported goods into the domestic Nigerian market and meeting the 35% value addition.

The NEPZA boss added, “Export duty into the custom territory is calculated based on the value of the raw material or components used in assembling the product not on the finished product’s value.

“100% foreign ownership of investments. 100% repatriation of capital, profits and dividends as well as waiver on all import and export licenses, waiver on all expatriate quotas for companies operating in the Zones

Projects Monitoring Committee expresses satisfaction after inspections of NEPZA projects

CAPTION

L- Hajia Zainab Aliyu, NEPZA Director of Monitoring & Compliance(left), Engr. David, Engr.David Balami Asst.Director Project & Procurement (NEPZA) middle, and Mr Martins Odeomenem, Director, Procurement ( Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment listening to a contractor during visit to the Calabar Free Trade Zone.

 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Joint Projects Monitoring Committee of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has concluded inspections of 112 approved projects for the Authority.

These projects, captured under the NEPZA Tender Board of 2017-2021, direct Federal Executive Council approval and the Ministerial Tender Board of Capital Projects are located at Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ), Kano Free Trade Zones (KFTZ) and the newly approved Lagos and Kwara Special Economic Zones respectively.

In a statement released by Head Corporate Communication, Mr Martins Odeh that out of the 112 ongoing projects, a total of 76 have been completed with the CFTZ accounting for 28; KFTZ 38; Lekki SEZ 5; and Ilorin SEZ 5 while others are at different levels of completion.

Some of the projects include: Erosion Control Works & Rehabilitation of Collapsed Perimeter Fence at CFTZ; Construction of Emergency Exit Gates & Access Road to the Jetties at CFTZ; Re-Asphalting of the Exiting Dual Carriageway Road Network at CTFZ; Consulting Services for Masterplan & Architectural Design at Kwara SEZ; Consulting Services for Engineering & Infrastructure Design at Kwara SEZ; Quantity Surveying for Feasibility Studies at Kwara SEZ; and the Development of initial 5MW Power Plant & Electrical Reticulation within the Ilorin SEZ.

They also include: The Construction of Roads with Associated Drainage Work at KFTZ; Construction of Four Standard Size Factory Building & Associated External Works at KFTZ; The Purchase of Property at No.38 Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; The Re-furbishing & Furnishing of the Newly acquired NEPZA new Lagos Zonal Office among others.

Speaking at the end of the tour in Calabar, Hajia Zainab Aliyu, NEPZA’s Director of Monitoring & Compliance, expressed satisfaction with the level of projects execution across the four zones, adding that the Federal Government had always ensured value-for-money in the execution of its contracts.

Hajia Aliyu, the Authority’s Team Lead, said that the approval for the projects’ inspection tours indicated government priority toward adequate provision of infrastructure in the free trade zones and Prof. Adesoji Adesugba led-management relentless commitment to the interpretation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy for a profitable and competitive zone scheme.

“As part of the statutory responsibility of NEPZA as provided in Section 4 of the Authority’s Act 63 of 1992 is the provision that ensures that all zones provide some of the basic infrastructure. We are also obliged to constantly monitor and evaluate both new and old infrastructure.

“The reasons for these monitoring and evaluation exercises were to ensure the right quality of materials were used and the the right quality of jobs are done, just as we also checked the percentage of work done in line with the amount assigned for the project.

“To this end, the Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba decided to set up this committee to access all the projects that have been earmarked from the period he assumed leadership of the Authority.

“ The Authority has, however, decided to carry out the task jointly with our supervising Ministry, which is the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. So far, we were encouraged by the progress of executions.’’ She said.

Meanwhile, Mr Martins Odeomenem, Director of Procurement, who led the team members from the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, described NEPZA as a serious agency of government that had always displayed uprightness in the conduct of its affairs.

Odeomenem explained that the ministry was, however, mostly concerned with those projects approved through the Ministerial Tender Board, adding that most of projects under the above category had been completed.

“It is not all about awarding contracts and executing contracts. There is also the need for every office that has the duty of awarding contracts to know that government is seriously after value-for-money.

“The inspections were aimed at ascertaining if the contracts the government awarded within the period under review are achieving the purpose for which they were awarded and executed. This is the essence of our assignment.

“I am fully aware that NEPZA is a serious establishment that abhors shoddy execution of its projects because of the strategic nature of the free zones in attracting foreign investment. We have gone around and I can say with all sense of responsibility that we are satisfied with what we have met on ground so far.’’ Odeomenem said.

The committee is, however, expected to submit a detailed technical report of its evaluation within 21days.

In a related development, members of the House Committee on Commerce who are embarking on their Mid-Term Inspections of projects at free zones across the country concluded a two-day tour of the Kano Free Trade Zone on Monday.

Hon. Richard Gbande, Deputy Chairman of the committee expressed satisfaction on how the Authority had so managed the special economic ecosystem, describing it as a vital economic gateway that should fast track the industrialisation of the Northern region.

Gbande explained that the zone was lucrative going by the presence of 75 enterprises functioning night and day to increase production for the country’s highly competitive markets.

“We are sure production and competition among the enterprises in the zone would increase significantly if the Federal Government finally divests its equity to the private sector as planned. Doing so will help open the space more for job creation.’’ The Lawmaker said.

NEPZA, Binance in Partnership on Virtual Free Zones in West Africa

CAPTION:

L – Nadeem Ladki (Binance Executive Director-Regional Strategic Partnerships), Professor Adesoji Adesugba (NEPZA MD/CEO), Sameera Kimatrai (Binance Senior Legal Counsel), Luqman Edu (CEO Talent City), Sikiru Lawal (NEPZA Director)

 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) is in partnership with Binance and Talent City for Nigeria to harbour the first Virtual Free Zone in West Africa.

NEPZA’s Managing Director, Prof.  Adesoji Adesugba stated this in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after holding meetings with officials of the two firms on Friday.

Adesugba, also Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, explained that the partnership when agreed would be similar to the Dubai Virtual Free Zone.

The NEPZA boss presented the vision of his management which centres on expanding frontiers of innovations in the operations and management of free zones in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

” We seek to break new grounds to widen economic opportunities for our citizens in line with the mandate of the Authority, the directive of the Honourable Minister and the economic development agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zones to take advantage of a near trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy,” Adesugba said.

Binance, a leading global digital, blockchain finance services firm operating worldwide with billions of dollars in operating capitalisation, was represented at the parley by Nadeem Ladki, its Executive Director, Regional Strategic Partnerships and Sameera Kimatrai, Binance Senior Legal Counsel.

Lagos, FCT, 2 others receive $2.01 bn capital investment in Q2 2022

By Favour Nnabugwu
Four states out of 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), received a total capital investments of $2.01 billion in Q2 2022.
These states are Lagos ($1.05 billion), FCT ($454 million), Anambra ($24.7 million), Kogi ($2 million), and Ekiti ($0.50 million).
The total capital imported into the country in (Q2) 2022 stood at $1.54 billion from $875.62 million in the corresponding quarter of 2021, showing an increase of 75.34 percent.
Capital importation into the country dropped by 2.4 percent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, a new report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
When compared to Q1 2022, capital importation decreased by 2.40 percent from $1.57 billion.
Lagos state accounted for 68.66 percent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2022.
Further Index shows that the largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 49.33 percent ($757.32 million).
This was followed by other investments with 41.09 percent ($630.87 million) and foreign direct investment (FDI) accounted for 9.58 percent ($147.16 million) of total capital imported in Q2 2022.
The highest sectors that received capital investment were banking ($646.36 million) amounting to 42.10 percent of total capital imported in the second quarter of 2022.
This was followed by production ($233.99 million), and the financing sector ($197.31 million), while telecoms ($153.50 million); shares ($152.41 million); and IT services ($0.05 million) sectors received the lowest capital investment.
By banks, Citi Bank Nigeria Limited emerged at the top of capital investment with $450.94 million followed by Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited with $323.24 million and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc with $163.92 million.
Meanwhile, Providus Bank Plc ($0.30 million); Sterling Bank Plc ($0.99 million); and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc ($1.60 million) were the least banks with capital inflows.
The top three highest capital importation by country into Nigeria were the United Kingdom ($781.05 million), which accounted for 50.87 percent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2022; Singapore ($138.58 million); and South Africa ($122.26 million).
NASS urges FG to maximise CFTZ potentials to boost economy

CAPTION:

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba MD NEPZA leading members of House Committee on Commerce on tour of Calabar Free Trade Zone.

 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The House Committee on Commerce says the ongoing process to concession the Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) is a positive approach in unleashing the full potentials of the zone to significantly boost the country’s economy.

Deputy Chairman of the committee,  Hon. Richard Gbande said this on Wednesday when he led some members of the committee on an inspection tour of the zone in Calabar.

Recall that the management of the country’s only two public zones located in Calabar and Kano are on the verge of being handed over to private investors.

The lawmaker, representing Katsina-Ala/Ukum Federal Constituency of Benue State, explained that the public must understand what led the Federal Government to adopt the free trade zone scheme, adding that it was basically aimed to spike industrialization and economic growth.

He, however, said that the scheme required a long period of sustained funding to yield any significant benefit to the country.

Gbande further said that the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) had so far performed well within its limited resources, adding that the impact of the scheme had reflected positively on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“We are in the Calabar Free Trade Zone to see the progress the business ecosystem is making and I can say that NEPZA has done well so far for keeping the country’s pioneer free zone intact and working.

“The committee has noticed some of the challenges which include outside infrastructure and the dredging of the Calabar Port.

“ In spite of these challenges, the enterprises, most of which are foreign companies are still functioning and helping to provide employment for the locals as well as serving the markets.’’ he said

Gbande explained that the zone would be brought to the required optimal level of competitiveness when handed over to private investors.

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba had used the occasion to express delight on President Muhammadu Buhari commitment and support in truly revamping the scheme to meet international standards.

The NEPZA boss explained that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring stable electricity supplies in the Calabar and Kano free trade zones, adding that the recent blackout in the Calabar zone had been addressed.

He further said that the government’s approval of funds for the development of infrastructure at the two public zones and two other new ones was an indicator of the president’s commitment to reposition the scheme.

According to him, the Authority has continued the execution of the power and other projects in Kano, Calabar, the Textile & Garment Park as well as the Medical Special Economic Zone in Lagos.

“Already, works are ongoing in these areas as infrastructure development remains the bait that can attract investors to the zones.’’ Adesugba.

Non-oil export hits $2.5bn, increase by 62% in six months – Yakusak

  1. By Favour Nnabugwu
Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC). has said that the Nigeria’s non-oil sector  recorded a leap as the country exported products worth $2.593 billion in the first half of 2022.
The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Ezra  Yakusak revealed this in Abuja during beriefing on the performances of NEPC  from January to June 2022.
 This represents 62.37 percent increase from the $1.59 billion was exported within the smae period in 2021, according to figures from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

Yakusak explained that the figure represents 62.37 per cent increase as against $1.59 billion for the first half year in 2021 and 2020 which stood at $981.442 million, respectively.

He said, “in spite of the global economic recession that affected most businesses in 2021, the sector recorded significant growth in non-oil export.

“A total of 4,146,534 metric tonnes of product worth $2.593 billion were exported between January and June 2022.

He  said the “significant growth” is inspite of the global economic recession that affected most businesses in 2021. He informed that over 200 products ranging from manufacturerd,  semi-proccesed,  solid minerals, to raw agricultural products were exported in the period under review.
A break down of the  the top 15 exported product in the first half year of 2022 unveiled Urea/ Fertilizer as the biggest export as it recorded 32.49 percent of total export  while Cocoa Beans, Sesame Seed and Aluminum Ingots contributed 12.65 percent, 7 percent and 5.07 percent respectively.
The top three destination for Nigeria exports based on the value were Brazil, United States of America (USA) and India, out of the 112 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania regions and Africa.
“Regrettably, of the top 10 export destination of Nigerian products, none is an African country. Only Benin and Niger Republic made it to the top 15,” he said.
“Both Benin and Niger Republic are Nigeria’s immediate neighbors and as such
they are traditionally gateways for informal. export activities. This bi-annual report therefore indicates that the Council’s campaign at mainstreaming informal export is gradually yielding results,” he added.
He also noted that unlike what was applicable in the past, the trend of products exported from Nigeria is gradually shifting from its traditional agricultural exports to semi-processed/manufactured goods. While  manufactured products made up 36.28 percent of exports.
The NEPC Boss stated that raw agriculture products  made up 33.35 percent and  Precious Stones 13 .22 percent and others are 17.15 percent
He said,  a total of 572 companies participated in exporting Nigerian products in the period under review. “This is an indication that Nigerian businesses are gradually embracing the diversification campaign of the NEPC by venturing into non-oil exports.
Yakusak said none of Nigeria’s products was rejected within the period. He however assured that the federal government is working assiduously in a bid to reduce the incidences of export rejects.
“The NEPC has finalized arrangements to embark on an Inter-Agency Working/Fact finding visit to the United Kingdom to ascertain specific causes for rejection of imported commodities from Nigeria”.
“The mission is to provide Nigerian Export regulatory /facilitating Agencies the opportunity of observing the processes of agricultural commodities import procedures and to also interact with Port Health and Food Import Regulatory Agencies at the Boarder Control Points in the UK,” he added.
” I am optimistic that our vision to make the world a market place for Nigerian Non-Oil export is not just lip service but a commitment to the people of Nigeria. This commitment is borne out of the desire to build a prosperous future for our people through diversification of the Nigerian economy by increasing the basket of exportable products from Nigeria.
We have also commenced training and re-tr fling of our personnel. This is intended to close identified skill gaps and improve capabilities/knowledge of employees for optimum output. This is germane considering our current efforts/ campaign for massive investment in non-oil export.
Lekki Free Zones is economic powerhouse – Hon. Gbande

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

House of Representative Committee on Commerce and Trade has  described the Lekki FTZ Quadrant of the country as a new economic powerhouse harbouring 25 billion US dollar investment.

The committee also urged the federal government to hasten up the rail-line construction to avoid Apapa Port tragic experience.

The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Hon. Richard Gbande stated this while he led some members of the committee on inspection of the Lagos Free Zone, Lekki Free Zone, and the Dangote Free Trade Zone Enterprises in Lagos yesterday.

Gbande said that the concept of the free trade zone had revolutionised the development of the Lekki axis of Lagos once upon a time considered as an undeveloped “peninsular’’.

The lawmaker explained that the Federal Government had incredibly used the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to promote the free zone scheme in an amazing manner.

Gbande also noted that the government’s relentless efforts in trying to diversify the economy resulted in the development of the Lekki Quadrant which would undoubtedly become the country’s new economic powerhouse.

“We have gone round as part of our oversight functions to see this magical economic enclave called Lekki Quadrant and it is indeed a sight to behold.

“The committee is particularly enthused with the conversion of the peninsular to a majestic business city that boasts of the Deep Sea Port, Dangote Refinery, and over 200 other enterprises sustaining the country’s economy.

“For the umpteenth time, NEPZA’s inexorable push to carry out its mandate and mission of galvanising both the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Local Direct Investment (LDI) must be supported. We can see how difficult these tasks are with the prevailing environment,’’ he said.

The deputy chairman of the house committee on commerce, further pointed out that the Ministry of Transport must hasten the construction of railway lines in the Lekki free zone area for seamless movement of cargoes.

Gbande also explained that the new Minister of Transport should urgently move and work toward implementing the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on the urgent need to construct road and rail infrastructure across that part of Lagos.

“The legislative body is prepared to appropriate funds for the construction of road and rail system for this important national economic gateway without delay. Already, we are late as both the deep sea port and the refinery shall open for operation by September and January respectively.

“The president may want to re-issue that directive again to show the importance he attaches to the development of these all important outside infrastructure in the Lekki free zone quadrant.

“The government must avoid repeating the recurrent gory experience of failed Apapa Sea Port logistic system with the Lekki free zone quadrant,’’ Gbande said.

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba expressed delight on the inspection tour carried out by the committee members, adding that it had obviously spurred them to become advocates of the free zone scheme.
Adesugba said that the NEPZA was up to the task of using the scheme to industrialise the country for the greater good of the citizens.

He corroborated Gbande’s call for the development of both the road and rail infrastructure for the Lekki free zone corridor to avoid catastrophic logistic failures.