Industry experts and stakeholders urged the federal government to address challenges limiting the effectiveness of free trade zones in the country, especially the infrastructure deficit.

Stakeholders made the call on Wednesday at a one-day awareness-raising workshop on the promotion and development of free zones across Nigeria, held in Abuja.

The workshop was titled “Creating Awareness of Free Zone Activities to Stimulate Investment in the Sub-Sector”.

Part of the observations made by the participants was that many challenges hinder the effective development of free zones in the country, such as “the lack of synergy between government agencies, the ignorance of the activities of these regulatory agencies by the stakeholders. and inadequate infrastructure, among others, ”revealed a statement released at the end of the show.

They therefore advised the government to work to resolve these issues.

The statement said, “The government should address the challenges that hamper the effective development of free trade areas by ensuring synergy among government agencies, sustained awareness of the benefits of investing in the free trade area as well as provision of adequate industrial infrastructure in the Zones.

Participants also observed that there is a need to review the operations and regulations of free zones to achieve its objectives and a need for collaboration among key stakeholders to ensure the success of zones in the country.

Among other things, the workshop recommended that the government work with the private sector to develop strategies that would increase investor interest in the zones and increase foreign exchange earnings.

“The government should work with the private sector to develop new strategies that would stimulate increased and sustained interest in free zones.

“The workshop also recognized that well-developed free zones will improve Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and therefore called on the government and key stakeholders to support investments in free zones to develop our economy,” the statement said.

The workshop further advised the government to implement strict regulations on economic activities in free zones to ensure that products from free zones are not smuggled into the customs zone and cause no harm to businesses. national.

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