Lagos, Jan. 25, 2024: The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has charged operators in the nation’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to abide by the rules and regulations guiding SEZs.
The President of NACCIMA, Mr Dele Oye, gave the charge at the opening of a two-day SEZs Annual Meeting, on Thursday in Lagos.
The meeting has the theme “Unlocking Opportunities: Harnessing the Power of Nigeria’s Special Economic Zones Scheme”.
Oye said that there had been complaints against some stakeholders allegedly flouting the rules guiding SEZs.
He advised firms to comply with environmental and community regulations, saying that their commitment would boost their businesses and socio-economic development of the nation.
Oye praised SEZs for their contributions, adding that they had been pivotal in attracting foreign direct investment into the country.
He said that the zones had contributed immensely to the country’s growth, enhancing export earning and creating employment opportunities.
The Managing Director of Notore Power, Mr Femi Solebo, appealed to the Federal Government to intensify efforts in improving the ease of doing business.
Solebo said that this would stimulate manufacturing, generate more foreign exchange to reduce pressure on Naira, especially with the country’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Similarly, the Managing Director of Ascension Consulting Services, Mr Azeez Alatoye, said that interference of regulatory agencies and infrastructural challenges were negatively affecting the performance of Special Economic Zones.
“As excellent as the free zones are due to the benefits to the country, there are a number of challenges that we think should be quickly removed so that we can have a step-up of performance in the free zones.
“You have different regulatory authorities trying to come into the free zone to obstruct some of activities,” he said.
Alatoye appealed to the Nigeria Customs Service to be more friendly.
He added that the agency should use dialogue to resolve issues with operators as a strategy to enhance productivity in the zones.
The meeting was organised by the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Nigeria Economic Zones Association (NEPZA) and Nigeria Economic Zones Association.