Doing Business without Taxes (Part 2)


contd from Part 1….


Not all activities are permissible in a free trade zone. The Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), responsible for granting approvals to enterprises in free trade zones in Nigeria has made a list of permissible industries within a free trade zone which include:

  • Oil & Gas logistics;
  • Electrical and Electronic Products;
  • Textile Products;
  • Garments;
  • Wood Products and Handicraft;
  • Leather Products;
  • Rubber & Plastic Products;
  • Cosmetics and other chemical products;
  • Metal Products & Machinery;
  • Educational materials & Sports Equipment;
  • Printing Materials, Communication and Office Equipment;
  • Medical Kits, Optical Instruments & Appliances;
  • Biscuits, Confectioneries & Other Food Processing;
  • Pharmaceutical Products; and
  • Ship building & Repairs.

Proposals for industries outside the above list can be considered by the NEPZA on individual merits.


Setting Up in a free trade zone

Setting up your business in a free trade zone is not difficult and does not involve going through the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as a grant of a license by the NEPZA constitutes registration for the purposes of company registration within a zone.

A promoter proposing to undertake an approved activity within a free trade zone is to complete an application form which can be downloaded on-line or collected from the administration of the relevant free trade zone or the NEPZA headquarters with the payment of the required non-refundable application fee.

The promoter can submit the completed form to the relevant zone administration or the NEPZA office in Abuja along with some required documents such as the Project Plan/Feasibility study.

If the application is approved, the promoter would be issued by the free trade zone administration a license which would constitute registration for the purpose of doing business in the zone.

Capital for the business of the enterprise can be remitted through banks located in the zones which in turn would issue a Certificate of Capital Importation (CCI).


Other benefits that accrue when you operate your business in a free trade zone in Nigeria include:

  • access to the Nigerian consumer market which is by far the largest market in Africa with approximately 160 million people;
  • an excellent location from which to export to the rest of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas;
  • abundant supply of human and material resources; and
  • enjoyment of several preferential trade arrangements such as ECOWAS, WTO, OPEC etc.


Oluwatosin Phillips

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