By Moses Uwagbale
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones (NEPZA) would with effect from January 1, 2021, commence operation on a new template for Free Zone registration in line with Nigeria’s focus on ease of doing business.
According to the Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of NEPZA,
the new registration process will make the process of registering a Free Zone company more efficient and attractive for potential investors without compromising the integrity of the system.
“There are two plans outlined, one is to be adopted immediately and the other to be implemented in the next 6-12 months,’’ Mr Martins Odeh,
Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, quoted Adesugba as saying.
The steps leading to successful registration listed include NEPZA allowing the official submission of registration documents by clear scanned signed copied to emails of the Zone Administrators.
This email should then be forwarded to the team at NEPZA HQ instantaneously for processing and the documents should be processed, and a virtual screening meeting scheduled within 24hours.
“ Once the application is approved, Certified True Copies (CTC) of the scanned signed documents and the NEPZA registration certificate should be sent to the Zone Administrator on behalf of the newly registered Enterprise.
“The Zone Manager will then submit the original documents to the Zone Administrator and collect the CTC documents and NEPZA Registration certificate on behalf of the new Enterprise.’’
Adesugba said that the Authority would in long term have a system driven process and explained that a company registration portal where all Free Zones could download the NEPZA forms (with serial numbers) and submit documents for company registration.
According to him, the portal will allow uploads of proof of registration fee payments made by remittal to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and scheduling of virtual screening meetings.
“It is imperative that we continue to make timely process improvements such as this, in order to generate goodwill for the Authority and position our Free Zones as an attractive investment location to a wide range of investors,’’Adesugba said.