Govt. Suspends issuance of Licences for Free Trade Zones


 The Federal Government has suspended the issuance of licenses for the operation of the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) in the country.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo who announced the suspension on Monday at the inauguration of the panel set up for the evaluation of the performance of FTZs, said all applications for FTZ licenses will henceforth not be processed pending the completion of the panel’s assignment.

He noted that the key objective of the panel headed by the Minister was to provide a set of recommendations to inform government strategy on FTZs based on a thorough evaluation off the current operations of FTZs.

Besides, the panel would work through context of the terms of references provided to deliver a clear and detailed report within eight weeks of inauguration.

The Panel which also has the Minister of State in the Ministry,  Amb. Mariam Katagum as member; will map out and implement clear strategies to evaluate the operations of recipients of FTZ licenses for the purpose of delivering world-class FTZs as expected under the Presidential Priority Projects (PPP).

He lamented that FTZs in the country have not performed to expectations in terms of impacting positively on the industrial development of the country as witnessed in developed countries.

“It is important to note that FTZs in most developed countries have contributed successfully towards their industrialization process. The model was adopted by the Asian Tigers and today most countries, including African countries are beginning to key into the idea.

“Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) has begun delivery of world-class FTZs across the country. However, due to poor implementation, we are yet to take delivery of the dynamic potentials of FTZs as an instrument for economic growth,” he said.

The Minister disclosed that Nigeria presently has 33 licensed FTZ operators in the country but added that due to poor implementation only 12 are operational,Otunba Adebayo said.

Leave a reply