Nigeria Industrial Council to improve operations of free trade zones

The Nigeria Industrial Council says it is reviewing fiscal arrangements and incentives applicable to the country’s free trade zones to improve their operations.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah said this in a statement signed by his Strategy and Communications Adviser, Mr Bisi Daniels in Abuja

Enelamah, who is also the council’s Vice Chairman said the council had been working to review the fiscal arrangements and incentives available to operators in the zones vis-a-viz the customs territory.

He explained that the review was to ensure competitiveness of goods produced in the zone in the local and export markets.

”There are many free trade zones at different stages of development in the country and 14 are operational, 12 are under construction, while the development of 11 others is yet to commence.

”Also, the ongoing Special Economic Zones project is developing six special economic zones across the geopolitical zones,” he explained.

Enelamah said that approved enterprises within the government owned zones were entitled to incentives such as exemption from legislative provisions pertaining to taxes, levies, duties and foreign exchange regulations.

According to him, other incentives were full repatriation of foreign capital investment with capital appreciation of the investment at any time; up to 100 per cent of foreign ownership allowable; and no import or export licences required for operations.

Enelamah said that future licensing of zones would be closely linked to priority sectors for industrialisation and export growth adding that the council was inaugurated in 2017 to spearhead the industrial agenda that would boost the contribution of manufacturing sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 250 per cent over a five-year period.

According to him, the agenda would make Nigeria a manufacturing hub for West Africa through diversification of the economy.