Leadership (Abuja)

6 September 2009

Nigeria: Imoke Wants Guideline On Calabar Free Trade Zone Reviewed

Calabar — Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has called for the review of the guidelines on the status of the Calabar Free Trade Zone and Calabar Free Port to enable them plays their expected roles.

While receiving the board of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) led by its Chairman, Alhaji Abba Kabbo, Imoke averred that the legislation which established the Calabar Export Processing Zone in 1992 should be reviewed to meet its current status as a Free Trade Zone, adding that the gazette which established the Calabar Port as a Free Port since 2005 should be implemented.

Imoke said the visit of the board speaks a volume because of the importance which the state attaches to the Calabar Free Trade Zone as it gives the state hope that it would realize its potentials as well as contribute to its development, adding that when the zone becomes fully operational it would serve as a model to rest of the nation because of its significance to the West African sub zone.

The governor reasoned that the Calabar Free Trade Zone, being the nation's pioneer, should be uplifted in status to operate like other trade zones in the world, adding that though the zone is private sector based; Government is committed to its development because of its great opportunities to contribute to the development of the State.

He appealed to the board to address the area concerning the exportation of finished products from the zone into the country because the area is a Free Trade Zone not an Export Processing Zone as it does not encourage investment. He said that the constitution and formation of the board is most important to move the economy forward by recommending and implementing programmes that would turn the fortunes of the Calabar Tree Trade Zone around for the betterment of the nation while pledging to support NEPZA in the area of infrastructure development.

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