Home Economy FG appoints new transaction advisers for Kano, Calabar  free trade zones 

FG appoints new transaction advisers for Kano, Calabar  free trade zones 

by Business News Report

The federal government has appointed new transaction officers for the Calabar and Kano free Trade zones.  Speaking during the  Contract execution ceremony and kick-off meeting on the Calabar and Kano special economic zones, SEZs, in Abuja, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, said  “Recall that that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its meeting held on the 12th of June 2018 approved the reform of the two Federal Government owned Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Calabar and Kano.  “In line with NCP approved process for economic reforms, the next step was the engagement of Transaction Advisers who would guide the reform process.

“The transaction adviser was selected through a competitive tendering process. The procurement process commenced with the short-listing of 9 (nine) firms from the National database to compete for the provision of transaction advisory services for the reform of the two SEZs. Request for Proposals (RfPs) were subsequently issued out to the shortlisted nine firms on August 16, 2018. At the deadline for the submission of their response to the RFP on 14th Sept. 2018, 5 out of the 9 shortlisted firms submitted proposals. An eight-man evaluation team comprising representatives of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was constituted to evaluate the technical proposals received. At the conclusion of the evaluation exercise, Ernst & Young emerged as the best qualified firm with a total score of 83.85%. The selection of Ernst & Young was subsequently approved by the National Council on Privatisation.”

Also speaking, Mr. Damilola Aloba, partner transaction advisory services, Ernst and Young, said the federal governments goal to ensure that the special economic zones are transformed to world class standards, will be achieved. He added that this will attract the right investors, financial capabilities, technical competence, human capital and also individuals that have experiences in running special economic zones in the world. He said, “To that extent, the federal government has adopted a three tier approach or model to concession the special economic zone. The first is to consider the property holding company which will be a representative of government as the legal owner of landed property in the two special economic zones. In addition to that, there will be an operating company who will be the concessioner responsible for the development of the internal infrastructure of the special economic zones. And lastly a Management company responsible for the management of each of the zones. 

Aloba further explained that Nigeria has 34 special economic zones, which he said  contributes tremendously to economic development in Nigeria. However, he lamented that a number of these zones are inactive, including the Calabar and the Kano free trade zones which are fully owned by the federal government of Nigeria. “Some of the benefits of an economic zone is to catalyse economic growth and also create jobs and diversify the economic and revenue source of government and support import substitution and export Diversification and increase the tax pays of government,” he stressed. In his closing remarks,  the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh stated that “This indeed for us is a landmark milestone and with regards to the journey of unlocking value for the two Special Economic Zones owned by the federal government. A journey that has taken about two years and we are extremely delighted that we are at this point where we have finally scaled so many hurdles to ensure that we can proceed and progress this transaction accordingly.”

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