The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) announced it will soon launch a special Economic Zone in Taraba state.
This was disclosed Thursday by the NEPZA Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, during a meeting with Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba in Abuja.
What you should know
Taraba is home to the 3.05GW Mambilla hydropower plant project being developed on the Dongo River near Baruf, in Kakara Village of Taraba State, Nigeria.
Expected to commence operations in 2030, Mambilla will be Nigeria’s biggest power plant, producing approximately 4.7 billion KWh of electricity a year.
The project is estimated to cost $5.8 billion and will generate up to 50,000 local jobs during the construction phase.
NEPZA said the FG is working to diversify the economy and wants to boost the non-oil sector’s contributions to GDP. They added this would be done with the establishment of Free Economic Zones around the nation.
“Free zones all over the world are used to accelerate development and they serve as catalysts for economic development,” NEPZA said.
“Taraba is the second largest state in Nigeria and we shall work assiduously with the state to create the economic zones.
“I am actually pleased that the state government has created an enabling environment for businesses to strive.
“We will constitute a working group to ensure that this is realized as soon as possible.
“These special economic zones when established will help to ignite activity in the agricultural and mining sectors, and jobs will be created for our youths, while government generates revenue,” he said.
Adesugba said that the Federal Government’s position was to ultimately deepen its collaboration with relevant stakeholders – especially the private sector, in the quest to develop special economic zones across the country.
The Governor of Taraba added that the FEZ would be vital in improving agriculture and tourism in Taraba State.
“We are ready to work with NEPZA in ensuring that a free zone is established in our state so that the opportunities it offers in agriculture, mining, and tourism can be explored.
“We are currently working towards expanding our Airport and that will go a long way in boosting the economic activities of the state.
“Taraba is bigger than some countries in size and has a population of over 3.6 million people. So, creating such a free zone will help mobilize our youths and turn them into productive people,” he said.