NAHCO targets $500m investment in free trade zone
The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Aviance Plc is aiming to attract $500 million direct investments into its airports Free Trade Zone operations in the next five years.
Group Chairman, board of Director of the Nahco Mallam Suleiman Yahyah disclosed this while hosting a dinner and Iftar in honour of visiting South African ruling Africa National Congress’s (ANC) Treasurer General Dr Zweli Lawrence Mkhize who is visiting Abuja as a special Envoy of President Zuma and brand envoy of a South Africa.
Yahyah who is also the founding chairman of the Rosehill Group commended the leaderships of both Nigeria and South Africa and urged them to work towards easing visa restrictions for businessmen and citizens to enhance the mutualy beneficial relationship for the two economies and unlock the eight bilateral agreement signed during president Jonathan recent state visit to South Africa.
In February, President Goodluck Jonathan approved a Free Trade Zone license for NAHCO to be located in Nigeria airports. “It will be the first free trade zone in any airport in West Africa. We are developing a 25 year Master plan in conjunction with DUBE Port of South Africa,” said Yahyah.
DUBE Port is based in Durban in the Kwazulu Natal Province of South Africa and is reputed to be the largest and most efficient free trade zone operator in the entire Africa continent.
President Jonathan is expected to lay the foundation of NAHCO FTZ before the end of the year.
“NAHCO FTZ will generate over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. It will stimulate large volume of exports especially of agricultural produce and serve as a platform for transshipment for west and Southern Africa .We have a goal of contributing up to 3 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic product in 10 years thus leading our country’s march to an emerging market status and lifting our people out of poverty. Our long term objective is to make the Zone the most attractive address for import and exports “the NAHCO boss said.
The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr Lulu Louis Mnguni in his remarks noted the contribution of Nigeria in the fight against apartheid. He said both nations needed to collaborate to give leadership direction for the entire Africa continent.
The guest of honour Dr Zweli Lawrence Mkhize said bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Africa has improved significantly in recent years. He said their several citizens of both nations who have taken their host nations as their home with huge business interests.
He called for mutual respect by citizens saying “when you go to a place to do business, it is important to learn, respect and adhere to the laws of government the people”.
The dinner was chaired by Ambassador Godknows Igali who commended the high quality of Leadership of the Nahco team and their commitment to corporate governance and sustainable relationship with South Africa; Nigeria’s largest African trading partner.
from left: 1. Chairman Rosehill Group, Suleiman Yahyah 2. Perm Sec, Nigeria’s Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali 3. South Africa’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Mokgethi Sam Monaisa 4. The Special Guest, South African ruling Africa National Congress’s (ANC) Treasurer General His Excellency Dr Zweli Lawrence Mkhize