The Presidency has clarified the status of Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO), also known as Nigeria Special Economic Zones Company Limited.
Presidential Spokesperson, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Wednesday, confirmed that NZESCO was incorporated as a special purpose vehicle to deliver Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports) which is a Presidential initiative.
“Project MINE was envisioned by the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment to develop SEZs to world-class standards and position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of made in Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally.
“Indeed, Project MINE was necessitated by the following factors: Lack of operating competitiveness that limits the growth of the zones, despite the presence of generous fiscal and regulatory incentives. For government-owned SEZs, there were limited Federal budget allocations to make the required investments in infrastructure, operations and management services;
“The need to develop the skills and experience to operate and manage the zones to world-class standards of efficiency; the absence of a deliberate strategy to attract investors, create clusters or encourage the development of local value chains using SEZs, and, therefore, the lack of appropriate link between the industrialisation strategy of the government and the Free Trade Zones.
“Project Mine, therefore, seeks to achieve the following specific objectives: Support structural transformation of the Nigerian economy by increasing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP to 20 per cent by 2029; contribute to sustainable inclusive growth by creating 1.5 million new direct manufacturing jobs in the initial phase of Project MINE; increase and diversify foreign exchange earnings to at least $30bn annually by 2029, by increasing manufacturing sector exports;
“Create local models of global best practice in the provision of world-class infrastructure at competitive costs connecting SEZs to international and regional markets with transport links, uninterrupted power, Information and Communications Technology, water, sewage and other services to ensure smooth and efficient operation of SEZ business.
“The Federal Executive Council had approved NSEZCO with the endorsement of the Economic Management Team, as the holding entity for FGN investments and proprietary interests in existing and future SEZs.
“The FEC approval also provides that all current and future capital appropriation for Project MINE should be transferred to NSEZCO’s account, as soon as opening formalities are completed.
“With the formalities completed, NSEZCO became the platform through which Federal Government’s capital budget appropriation for SEZs are converted into long-term value creating investments.
“NSEZCO is a public-private partnership (PPP) company to operate world-class standards of governance and management, to facilitate mobilisation of capital and other resources from PPP partners, in order to overcome budgetary constraints to the provision of critical infrastructure for SEZs.”