The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the Federal Government would take proactive approach in assisting Free Trade Zones (FTZs) reach their full potentials.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo stated this at the 10th year anniversary of the creation of Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone, held in Igbesa, Ogun State, assuring that government would continue to embrace industrialization of the FTZs in order to accelerate infrastructural development and address the gap in the labour market, as well as improve on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“The Federal government of Nigeria must take a proactive approach in assisting special economic growth in reaching their production target. We shall not leave the world of industrialization to free trade zone alone. They require government to match their level of energy, perseverance, resolve and commitment to local production’’, he said.
The Vice President, represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, pointed out that Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone was one out of 3,500 Free Trade Zones in the world, adding that the President Mohammed Buhari-led government was committed to repositioning the economy for sustainable development.
While pointing out that the trade zone could aid the country optimize its industrial prospects, he said it equally generates a combined output value of over 234 million dollars per annum and had exceeded two billion dollars in total investment, with employment of over 6,000 people from the local community.
In his address, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun noted that the Free Trade Zone was a veritable platform to boost the economic development of any nation, adding that the benefits of the free trade zone was not limited to increasing commercial flow, but had continued to help develop commerce and industrialization in the State.
Abiodun also noted that his administration was committed to ensuring that the two free trade zones in the State were among the priorities and efforts to boost socio-economic development, adding that the event was another milestone in his administration’s march towards industrialization and economic growth.
The Governor commended the former Governor of the State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, under whose administration the free trade zone was established, saying the decision in its establishment was a blessing to the State.
The Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the occasion, Hon. Yusuf Yakub, noted that Nigeria and China had enjoyed cordial relationship in the last ten years, adding that the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone was one of the success stories of the partnership which had witnessed a boost in the economy of both countries.
Earlier in his remarks, the Consul-General of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr. Chu Maoming, disclosed that the bilateral trade volume of the two countries that had increased to about 20.7 percent in the first quarter of the current year had led to the influx of more Chinese companies into the country.
In an interview with newsmen, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, expressed his joy at the success recorded by the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone, noting that the Olokola Free Trade Zone would have availed the State with over 30,000 jobs for its unemployed youths, if the Dangote Refinery had not relocated to Lagos State.
Press Officer, Office of the Governor