Free zones remits ₦11.11tn to FG in 2023 – NEPZA

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority an organization under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, has said that remittances from the country’s Free Zones to the Federation Account reached ₦11.11 trillion in October 2023.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director of NEPZA, Olufemi Ogunyemi, while speaking at the visit of members of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment on Tuesday in Abuja, according to Businessday.

Ogunyemu said that the zones have also facilitated wealth and revenue generation for various states and agencies.

He noted in 2023, the Nigeria Customs Service earned ₦59.38 billion, Immigration Services received ₦828.7 million, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) earned ₦8.738 billion, and states collected ₦998 million in PAYE ‘Pay As You Earn’.

Remittances to the Federation Account as of October 2023 stood at N11.11 trillion, while payments to the Consolidated Revenue Fund from 2012 to October 2023 stood at about N5.731 and $6.415 million, respectively.

Ogunyemi stated that the achievement demonstrates the significance of Special Economic Zones in Nigeria’s economic landscape.

In addition, he said that direct employment generated by the zones currently stands at 38,429 jobs, with an additional 172,930 indirect jobs created at the end of 2023.

Furthermore, he stated that the initiative has promoted skill development, with many semi-trained artisans getting the knowledge to launch their own businesses.

The NEPZA boss added that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Local Direct Investment (LDI) from 2019 to 2023 have reached $491.8 million and ₦1.15 trillion, respectively. He said that the Free Zones have also contributed to import substitution, with over ₦1.62 trillion worth of cargo imported from these zones between 2019 and 2023, saving scarce foreign exchange.

“Wealth has been created/generated in the Customs Territory as a result of the Free Zone operations. For example, between 2019-2023 a total of over N1.62 trillion worth of cargo has been imported from the Free Zones. Scarce Forex would have been expended if this were not done,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, Sadiq Umar reiterated the national assembly’s commitment to carrying out.

“On the legal framework, he said, “If it is brought as an executive bill, I will be happy to sponsor it as my bill, but it has to conform with what I believe a bill should be.

“On the numerous invitations from the national assembly, Umar said the NASS was empowered to invite whoever it desires and therefore urged the authority to ensure it operated according to its set goals and keep its books clean.

“What I can help you to do is make sure you are doing the right thing, make sure your books are clean. And if they invite you, you can confidently go there and answer their questions,” he said

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