The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has explained why the federal government designated Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt as Special Economic Zones, saying that it would harness the socio-economic benefits derivable from Civil Aviation, generating revenues for the government, attract more international and domestic airlines as well as other benefits.
The Minister disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday afternoon, following the approval of the SEZs by President Muhammadu Buhari.
What the Minister said
“The Ministry of Aviation in its desire to address issues concerning taxation, custom duties and fiscal issues in the Nigerian Aviation industry which required a holistic solution, had requested the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) to designate the four major international Airports under NEPZA Act.
The request was made so that the benefits of such zones can be accorded all airlines, airport operators, Aviation support companies among others that reside within the zones which the President noted, and approved.
Some of the benefits include; Harnessing the socio-economic benefits derivable from Civil Aviation, generating revenues for Government and creating avenues to mobilize local and foreign direct investment for overall growth of the economy,” he said.
Mr Sirika added that it would benefit the generation of additional non-aeronautical sources of revenue for the Aviation Industry, improve the overall ease of doing business in Nigeria, attract more international and domestic airlines, and world-class organisations into the Nigerian Aviation Industry, fast track the upgrade and development of new infrastructure/facilities at the airports, reduce the tax burden on Aviation companies and enable efficient competition.
“The government remains committed to the development of an investment-friendly Aviation sector that will not only make Nigeria a regional hub for air transportation but increase its contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP),” Mr Sirika added.
Why it is important
A special economic zone (SEZ) is an area projected by a country to boost economic growth through Foreign Direct investment. The SEZ’s usually have different economic regulations than other regions within the same country and are used as a means to increase the employment and trade balance of a nation’s economy.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported last month that the Aviation Minister said President Buhari approved our four International Airports as Special Economic Zones. These are Lagos, Kano, Abuja & Port Harcourt.