The Sokoto state government has granted the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority, NEPZA 503.8 hectares of land in Sokoto to establish the Special Economic Zone, SEZ.
The state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, made the award Wednesday in Abuja when he met with the management of NEPZA, led by Adesoji Adesugba, the managing director of the authority, in Abuja.
According to Mr Tambuwal, Sokoto state is desirous of partnering NEPZA in any area of mutual benefit, especially as the state would be a critical stakeholders in the management of the SEZ.
He, therefore, appealed to the authority to give special consideration to the state in the management of the zone.
As a result he suggested that the Sokoto Investment Company Limited, SICL, and indigenous businessmen should be part of the arrangements in operating the zone under a private-public partnership.
Subsequently, it is expected that soon the state government and the authority will inaugurate a technical committee comprising its respective officials to fast track their mutual engagement.
The SEZ is designed by the federal government to attract Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, enhance trade and industrialization as well as generate employment.
The zone is also intended to encourage technology transfer, contribute to national economic growth and development; and encourage patronage of local raw materials.
In his remarks, Mr Adesoji, extolled the economic acumen of Mr Tambuwal, saying he was impressed with the recent rating of the state as second best in the ease of doing business by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC.
Attributing this to the leadership qualities of the governor, who he said has provided many infrastructure in the state, Mr Adesoji thanked the state government for timely provision of land for the zone, pledging to hit the ground running.
He said NEPZA will soon be in Sokoto for the ground-breaking ceremony of the SEZ.
The state government team at the function include the state Commissioners for Land and Housing as well as Commerce, Aminu Bodinga and Bashir Jegawa respectively.
Also at the occasion were the managing director of the SICL, Buhari Dasuki and a prominent Sokoto businessman, Mukhtar Maigona.