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Even as major development finance institutions were committing to funding the development of Nigeria’s special economic zones in Abuja, work had commenced on Enyimba Economic City in Abia State. “We agreed to be part of the project because it has been long overdue. We have no doubt that it will succeed,” said Mr Kayode Pitan, managing director of the Bank of Industry.
For Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, and the communities that donated land, it was hope kept alive as the management of Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited (NZESCO) and the chief executive officers of Afreximbank, Bank of Industry and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) signed the dotted lines at an event presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Council Chambers of Aso Rock.
According to Okechukwu Enelamah, whose ministry -Industry, Trade and Investment – is implementing the development of the special economic zones under the direct supervision of President Buhari, “the initial projects such as the Enyimba Economic City, are underway and feasibility studies are going on in eight states.”
The three development finance institutions are among the five to partner with NSEZCO and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated. NSEZCO intends to raise at least US$500million in equity over the first five years to develop special economic zones in the country. The other investment partners are the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).