The Federal Government has suspended the issuance of licences for the operations of Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in the country.
Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, announced this at the inauguration of the panel on the evaluation of the performance of FTZs, in Abuja on Monday.
A statement by Ifedayo Sayo, the minister’s Special Assistant on Media, quoted him as saying that all applications for FTZs licences wouldn’t be processed until the completion of the panel’s assignment.
Adebayo explained that the key objective of the panel, headed by him, was to make recommendations that would inform the government’s strategy on FTZs, based on thorough evaluation of their current operations.
According to him, the panel would also work its other terms of reference to provide a clear and detailed report within 8 weeks of inauguration.
He said, “It’s important to note that FTZs in most developed countries have contributed successfully to their industrialisation process.
“The model was adopted by the Asian Tigers and today, most countries, including African countries, are beginning to key into the idea.
“Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), has begun delivery of world-class FTZs across the country.
“However, due to poor implementation, we’ve yet to take delivery of the dynamic potentials of FTZs as an instrument for economic growth.”