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The Managing Director of Nigeria Export Zones Authority (NEPZA). Mr Emmanuel Jime, says the Authority has granted licenses to three new Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
This announcement by Jime was in a statement issued recently by the Head Corporate Communications of the Authority, Mr. Simon Imobo-Tswam.
The Free Trade Zones are Nasco Town FTZ; valued at $2.086 billion, Quit Aviation Services FTZ; valued at $215 million, and Tomaro FTZ; valued at $450 million. Details of these approved zones shall be posted on this blog soon.
The new licensed FTZs hope to attract an inflow of $2.751billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country, also targeting direct jobs in excess of 50,000.
This is a welcomed development especially now that the economy of the country is looking promising, the Free Zone Scheme will be one of the foil Crum, it has been suggested that Nigeria economy would expand 2.7 percent in 2018.
The 2.7 percent mean estimate derived from the survey which featured projection by US- based global lenders, World Bank and the international monetary fund, as well as Russia-based investment bank, Renaissance Capital. This also reflected optimism over improved foreign exchange liquidity
“Aside the improvement in real GDP, the performance across several other macro-indicators suggests that the economy is on track for a broad-based recover,” said Andrew S Nevins, a partner and chief economist at PWC.
Nigeria has been hammered by a lengthy collapse in oil prices that began in mid-2014 and snowballed into a two-decade low of $28 per barrel in January 2016.
The pain inflicted by militant attacks in the Niger-Delta, which sent production levels to near decade-low of 1.2 million barrels, dealt an even steeper blow on the oil-dependent economy.
These factors tipped the economy into its first full-year contraction in 25 years and triggered acute dollar shortages that stifled the non-oil sector, as the latter contracted 0.2 percent to record its worst performance since 1984.
However, the economy managed to limp off the recession in the second quarter of 2017 after expanding 0.55 percent, on the back of a rebound in oil prices, following an agreement reached by OPEC members in 2016 to shave some 1.2 mbpd off the market to nip growing supply glut in the bud and relaxed hostilities in the Niger-Delta.
This year, “we expect the Nigerian economy should continue its rebound, perhaps reaching 2.5 percent driven mainly by further improvements”.
Increased flow of petrodollars has pushed the country’s external reserves of a 34-month high of $38billion as of December 2017, according to data available on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website, adding to positive exchange rate expectations.
“We retain our favorable outlook for the exchange rate amid sustained stability in global crude oil prices which should result in further build-up in foreign reserves as well as CBN’s continued intervention to meet demand at the interbank foreign exchange markets,” analyst at Cowry Assets Management said in a note to investors.  
Foreign exchange liquidity has improved following not only increased CBN fire power, but the creation of the investors & exporters window in April 2017 to boost liquidity and ensure timely execution and settlement for eligible transactions as stipulated by CBN. Some $18 billion have been traded at the window since inception.