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Nigeria, Ghana Partner On Free Trade Zones



Nigeria and Ghana have resolved to forge a new strategic partnership beginning with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Ghana Free Trade Board (GFTB) as a way of strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries. Managing Director, NEPZA, Mr Emmanuel Jime, dropped the hint at the weekend when he played host to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GFTB, Mr. Michael Okyere Baafi, who led a three-man business delegation on a working visit to the NEPZA Headquarters in Abuja.
Ghana Free Zone Board Office Complex (Photo: Pulse)

Jime expressed readiness to partner with his Ghanaian counterpart in boosting trade and economic growth within the subregion, saying that such collaborations were part of the vision of the founding-fathers of the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) when the regional body was established about four decades ago.


He explained that although NEPZA was “initially conceptualized as an Export Processing Zone (EPZ), it has today been saddled with the mandate of anchoring Nigeria’s industrialization in response to evolving economic development strategies and dynamics in globalisation. According to a statement issued yesterday by NEPZA’s spokesman, Simon Imobo-Tswam, the Ghanaian delegation was in Nigeria to seek areas of cooperation with NEPZA on the running of a free trade zone. Leader of the delegation, Baafi expressed confidence in Nigeria’s capacity to provide leadership for the West African sub-region and urged NEPZA to lead the way. His words: “We are here to explore areas of cooperation and partnership. But we believe Nigeria is a senior brother in business, population etc. So, it is an opportunity for Nigeria to take the lead and I can tell you that Ghana is prepared to follow.