ABUJA, (The Southern African Times£ – The Nigerian government is working toward establishing special economic zones for solid minerals and creating a large number of employment opportunities, a top official with the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) said.
The initiative is part of the government’s promise to revamp the mining sector to enable it to contribute more to national income, said Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA in a statement reaching Xinhua on Thursday.
Plans were underway for the establishment of four special economic zones in Lagos, Gombe, Kwara and Kastina with special consideration for solid minerals, he said.
These special economic zones when established will help to ignite activity in the sector and jobs will be created for youths while the government rakes in revenues from the exportation of valued added minerals, said Adesugba.
“We must emulate countries like South Africa, Ghana and Kenya that have taken their mining sector to an enviable height with substantial (amount) of their revenues coming from the sector,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria can catch up with these countries faster if the special economic zone concept was activated for the sector.
Adesugba said like the free trade zone scheme, the solid mineral zones had the capacity to provide the country with a long-term economic safety net.