Government mulls establishment of satellite industrial centres
To fast-track its plan on diversification, the Federal Government has commenced plans to establish Satellite Industrial Centres across the six geo-political zone of the country.
The establishment of these industrial centres which will be anchored by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA ), is expected to commence immediately after the passage of the 2017 budget.
The new Managing Director, NEPZA, Emmanuel Jime, said the establishment of these centres will serve as a catalyst toward the diversification of the economy and the promotion of backward integration.
“The present administration’s desire is for the economy to fully diversify and this is the reason why the president has ordered the creation of the Satellite Industrial Centres in the six geo-political zones across the country.
“ And for this to happen, NEPZA has been given the directive to anchor this and this will take effect as soon as the budget is pass,” Jime said. Jime, who recently took over the affairs of NEPZA, said the agency will do everything to put the country on the right direction with the diversification of the economy through manufacturing for domestic market and export.
“As we know that NEPZA is a creation of Act 63 of 1992, with the mandate to licence, regulate and monitor free zones in Nigeria. Our plan now is to focus on the generation of employment, technology transfer and skill acquisition. Also, we will do everything to attract more Foreign Direct Investment through aggressive marketing,” Jim said.
Jime said creating an attractive environment for manufacturers through measures such as tax breaks, export incentives and finances, is high on the government’s agenda in line with its broader aim of increasing local production.
“Producers need assurance that if they produce locally, their products will enter the local value chain, and we are creating conditions for that,” he said.He added that NEPZA will work hand in hand with other sister agencies so as to ensure smooth operations for the manufacturers.
Jime said the primary engine for growth and development of any economy is the organised private sector, while government is required to provide the enabling environment.
This, according to him, could be in the form of appropriate intervention viz, legal framework, policies and programmes that will support investment, provision of physical infrastructure like power and road network, security and a stable polity, among others.
“Moreover, since we operate a mixed economy, the government is required to intervene in the provision of social amenities or services, where it is proven that if left entirely for the organised private sector, the cost will be too heavy for the average consumer to bear,” he said.