The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Cross River State government have entered into an agreement to develop a realistic strategy for the revitalization of the Tinapa Free Trade Zone, which is currently in a state of disuse. NEPZA Managing Director Olufemi Ogunyemi expressed enthusiasm during a courtesy visit to Governor Bassey Otu in Calabar, commending the state’s efforts to rejuvenate the unique free trade zone originally established for the entertainment industry.
Ogunyemi acknowledged the achievements of the Otu-led administration and pledged NEPZA’s expertise and cooperation to support the state’s initiative to revive Tinapa. He emphasized the potential positive impact on Nigeria’s film industry. The NEPZA managing director encouraged increased state government interest and participation in the Calabar Free Trade Zone, emphasizing its importance for overall promotion and preservation.
Additionally, Ogunyemi sought the state government’s intervention in addressing the activities of unauthorized tax operators affecting incentives granted by the NEPZA Act to free zone operators and enterprises.
Governor Otu, represented by Deputy Governor Peter Odey, expressed delight at the NEPZA managing director’s visit, affirming the state’s commitment to robust cooperation with the Authority. He emphasized the state’s desire for accelerated economic growth through collaboration with NEPZA. The governor requested NEPZA’s assistance and cooperation for the timely revival of the Tinapa Free Trade Zone, mentioning the need for a review of accumulated unpaid Tinapa License Renewal fees.
Governor Otu highlighted the state’s strategy to upgrade Tinapa and Obudu Cattle Ranch to global standards and profitability. He emphasized the importance of peace, stability, and functionality in the Calabar Free Trade Zone for the state, acknowledging the employment opportunities it provides for locals. Otu expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for supporting foreign direct investment and sustaining the free trade scheme.
Ogunyemi concluded his visit with an inspection tour of enterprises in the Calabar Free Trade Zone.