The Nigeria Export Processing Authority (NEPZA) has said that the completion of the Deep-Sea Port in record period of four years was indication of Federal Government’s continued effective policy implementation.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba made the remark on Tuesday in Abuja in a special congratulatory message to the president, free zone investors, and to all relevant stakeholders in the sector after the unveiling of the port on Monday by the president.
“When the construction of this port began four years ago with the president designating it as a free trade zone, very few Nigerians believed that this would become a reality, especially with the challenges of COVID 19 ravaging Nigeria and the entire world at that period.
“Therefore, we should all be proud as Nigerians that this has not only become a reality, but a Free Zone has built and completed the largest sea port within four years which will reposition Nigeria as a regional hub globally for maritime business.
“We are indeed glad that this sea port is a testimony of the capability of Nigeria and the Nigeria Free Zones to compete at the world level’’, the NEPZA boss said.
Adesugba further explained that the speed at which the project was delivered was to the amazement of all, adding that the project delivered in record time and with good-natured quality remained an `engineering wonder’.
“For us in NEPZA, we will ensure that the infrastructure is protected and administrative processes in the port are seamless enough to promote the federal government’s ease-of-doing-business policy,’’ he said.
Adesugba said that to achieve professionalism at the port, only agencies of government with legal mandates to be at the port shall be granted access as any plots to inject inefficiency and congestion shall be immediately rebuffed.
“I wish to, therefore, express my profound delight to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his believe in the free zones to drive the economic development of the country.
“The free zones scheme in Nigeria has enjoyed the president’s support and the support of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, CON, particularly in the area of innovations, infrastructure development and investment promotion,’’ Adesugba said.
The NEPZA CEO explained further that the Buhari-led administration had through this project secured a total of 170,000 jobs for the country’s teeming youth, adding that it was no mean feat in addressing the economic problems of the country.
“I also wish to acknowledge the support of Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, who is not only a great supporter of the port but also a champion of the free zone scheme in Nigeria.
“ Under his regime, the free zones in Lagos have flourished and I have no doubt in my mind that with his continued support, free zones in Lagos State will continue to serve as the funnel for foreign direct investment into the country,’’ he said.
You may recall that the port with an investment in excess of $1.2 billion is a joint venture between the federal government, Lagos State Government, the Tolarams Group (the owner of the Lagos Free Zone), and China Harbour Engineering Company.