The Managing Director Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, has expressed worry over the absence of investors at the Abuja Technology Village (ATV), saying it does not augur well for Nigeria’s industrialization efforts.
According to a press statement signed by Head of the Corporate Communications Unit, Simon Imobo-Tswam, “Jime, who was at the Technology Village onThursday on a fact-finding/familiarization tour, said with the fairly standard infrastructure in the Free Trade Zone in terms of adequate water supply, good roads, excellent waste management methods, ICT-compliance and underground cables, it was surprising that the Zone has not attracted investors.
“He charged the ATV management to find ways of marketing the zone to investors both locally and internationally, saying the ATV Free Zone has the potential to compete with other Free Zones in the country, especially the privately-owned Zones like Lagos like the Eko-Atlantic City, Ogun-Guandong and Lekki.”
The press statement quoted the NEPZA boss as saying, “The objectives of a FTZ are the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), employment-generation, technology-transfer and skill-acquisition, but if a Zone is dormant, these noble economic objectives would be defeated.”
In her welcome address, the ATV Managing Director, Hauwa Yabani, told the NEPZA helmsman that the “biggest challenge facing the Free Zone is the issue of power,” but added that the ATV management was working on an integrated power-plan to solve the challenge, once and for all.
According to her, “The ATV, as an innovation hub, has taken the initiative of having an energy-mix or power-plan that integrates all the energy options, ranging from solar, wind turbines, bio-gas to waste-to-power and the national grid in its bid to find a comprehensive solution to the power challenge in the Zone.”
While showing the managing director round the Zone, Yabani explained that investors were ready to move into the Zone as plots have been allocated to some local and foreign investors.
It would be recalled that the managing director of NEPZA has already visited the Free Trade Zones in Lagos, Ogun, Calabar and Kano on fact-finding and familiarization tours.