The expedited efforts by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to designate willing universities as Special Economic Zones have received support from the federal government.
The effort, according to Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, will quickly change the educational landscape of the nation to reflect global trends and competitiveness.
Speaking while playing host to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN) and the Managing Director/Chief Executive, NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Adebayo pointed out that the country’s industrialization process could become much more prolific and all-encompassing when the country can coordinate its universities to also operate as profitable industries through the free zone scheme.
He said, “The MD NEPZA has given a brief background of what this is all about, and let me assure you that it is something that the federal government will be interested in.
“It is indeed a unique idea to be able to make the academic institutions have the freedom to break away from the over-dependence on government for funding.”
For his part, Na’Allah stated that the visit was a follow-up to a recent preliminary technical meeting with NEPZA and that both sides had diligently worked to see that the project was completed as quickly as feasible.
The VC explained that the university was endowed with several solid minerals in commercial quantities in a statement by the Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, Dr. Martins Odeh. He added that opening the campus space for outside investments using the free zone concept would be a historic accomplishment.
He said, “We want the university to become the richest institution in Nigeria. We will open the space for tourism, estate, mining, agriculture, car production plants, dairy farms, light rail services, etc. Our proximity to the city and the airport makes movement seamless. This is our thinking; this is our project.”