FG targets $30bn exports with economic zones, others

The Federal Government plans to increase manufacturing exports to about $30bn by 2025 through the development of Special Economic Zones in the country.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment confirmed this in a statement issued on Monday.

The statement said that special economic zones had been identified by the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan as a major strategic tool to accelerate the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan.

To achieve this objective, the statement explained that the Made-in-Nigeria for Exports project was envisioned by the ministry and the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority to develop economic zones to world-class standards.

This, it added, would assist in positioning Nigeria as the manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of made-in-Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally

The statement read in part, “The project seeks to aid structural transformation of the Nigerian economy by increasing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product to 20 per cent by 2025; contribute to sustainable inclusive growth by creating 1.5 million new manufacturing jobs in the initial phase of the project; increase and diversify foreign exchange earnings by increasing manufacturing sector exports to at least $30bn annually by 2025.”

The ministry said the first phase of the project would focus on the development and upgrade of SEZs in 12 states across Nigeria, following which the initiative would be extended to other states in subsequent phases.

This, it stated, involved partnering with the private sector to develop new world-class SEZs in Abia, Katsina and Lagos as pilot projects to demonstrate proof of concept and provide models for future SEZ development in Nigeria.

The statement said the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited had already been set up as the special purpose vehicle to deliver the Made-in-Nigeria for Export project and harness the Federal Government spending on SEZs.

“The Federal Executive Council has approved NSEZCO as the holding entity for all the Federal Government’s investments and proprietary interests in existing and future SEZs.

“The FEC approval also provided that all current and future capital appropriations for Project MINE be transferred to NSEZCO’s account, as soon as opening formalities are completed,” it added.

It said aggregation and harnessing of the Federal Government’s investment in a strong corporate special purpose vehicle “is to ensure the facilitation and mobilisation of additional capital from development finance institutions and private investors.”

It added that the Federal Government’s SEZ strategy sets ambitious targets for investment, job creation and export earnings.
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