NEPZA commends LADOL’s Agric, Health Free Zone Initiative
Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, commended LADOL Free Zone when he made an official tour of the Zone on Tuesday 18th August 2020.
Prof. Adesugba expressed particular support for LADOL expansion in attracting Agricultural Processing and Healthcare companies into the Zone, as well as partnerships with international companies such as Mammoet.
Adesugba was joined on his familiarisation tour by the top management of NEPZA, many of whom were familiar with LADOL having worked with the Zone for the last 16 years.
He stated that LADOL’s development of infrastructure and facilities for logistics, now being expanded to support a wide range of industries, is both strategic for the company and for Nigeria, noting that:
“More than one billion dollar is spent by Nigerians going abroad for medicals tourism every year and that is an opportunity for us now that nobody can travel to attract very good investment in this sector and to get the hospital to come very close to us in Nigeria by using the Free Zone strategy.
“This is one area we will be very happy to work with you [LADOL] in promoting. Also, the very important aspect of Agriculture Free Zone. I am happy that you are thinking in that direction,” he said.
He further explained that he had assumed the leadership position of the agency at a time when COVID-19 pandemic was ravaging the world, necessitating a holistic strategy towards medical tourism using Free Zone approach in Nigeria.
In agriculture, Prof Adesugba commended LADOL’s initiative in setting up more cold store facilities, which he suggested could also service the fishing industry in Nigeria, which he identified as a key opportunity for private sector owing to the significant amount of fish Nigerians consume annually.
Adesugba, who had a long illustrious career in the Nigerian Customs Service before working with NIPC, reiterated the importance of maintaining a harmonious, seamless working relationship between NEPZA and its sister agencies in Free Zones.
Such harmony will ensure that Free Zones can contribute significantly to Nigeria’s economic growth and meet government objectives of encouraging industrialisation.
Strengthening of the NEPZA Free Zone scheme will make Nigerian industries highly competitive, especially in the light of the recently signed CFTA, the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
He commended LADOL in keeping a healthy relationship with NEPZA and all the government agencies in the zone.
“I have also thought about the reason why government set up NEPZA… because they are supposed to be geographic enclaves that operate with the same rules and standards of other Free Zones across the world,” he said.
Adesugba stated that Nigeria as a country, was very serious and committed to industrialisation and ensuring that finished goods are not dumped in the country.
Industrial and logistics developments such as LADOL are key to this, the managing Director noted, as he pledged that NEPZA would encourage LADOL more than they had done before.
Managing Director of LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi noted that Prof. Adesoji Adesugba was more than qualified to take NEPZA to the next level.
She expressed gratitude on behalf of the board, staff and Management for the visit and expressed commitment that they would all continue the development of LADOL to achieve the mission and vision of making Nigeria the Industrial Hub for Africa.