NEPZANigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (Nigeria)
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The NEPZA Boss lamented that the poor state of roads, as well as the absence of a functional rail system and Inland waters ways, were making the transportation of finished goods from the zones to the ports for exports difficult.
This is without the US$1 billion investment that we got through General Electric in Calabar Free Trade Zone recently,'' the local media Friday quoted the NEPZA boss as saying in the capital city of Abuja.
Kuye said NEPZA was vigorously reviewing the processes of granting approval and licences to free zones across the country, stressing that mechanisms were being put in place to revamp or close down the free zones that were not economically viable.
'While NEPZA had argued that the allocation of over N42 billion to NSEZCO ought to be allocated to it, rather than NSEZCO, the Attorney-General to the Federation (AGF) had clarified the law.
'But despite the clarifications from the Attorney-General and the direction of the Industry Minister, officials of NEPZA were alleged to have surreptitiously taken the matter to some Senators causing a misunderstanding of the strategy adopted for the implementation of the Special Economic Zones.
The Committee was not satisfied with the explanations given on all the questions raised, asking if the fund was appropriated, wired or warehouse to NEPZA and expressed shock why the Federal government had paid it's 25 percent or N14b fully.
He explained further that the N14b was a decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the development of Export Processing zones to be executed by NEPZA, while the N250m in question was not enough for the negotiations and meeting as logistics of officers involved, which were sometimes unplanned for had to be taken care of.
'It is over a year since the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment uncovered padding and other fraudulent issues in the NEPZA budget of 2018 under Jime but we have not read anywhere that he extricated himself from the accusations.
Besides, the ASCSN secretary disclosed that the minister wrote to Accountant General of the Federation that N14.376 billion be transferred to NSEZCO from the NEPZA 2017 appropriation for the upgrade of Calabar and Kano public Free Trade Zones.
'In NEPZA Act, we have provisions for private free trade zone, public FTZ and Public-private partnership free trade zones.
He also accused the Minister of bringing a private company to handle the functions of NEPZA. 'The name of the company is Nigerian Special Economic Zones Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO), this company was not a product of any legislation and is coming to perform the functions mandated by an Act.'
Amy Jadesimi, neither denied nor confirmed the allegation but told Tribune Online to contact NEPZA.