16 June 2021 by MATHEWAYOOLA
The Senate Committee on Trade, Industry and Investment has advised the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA to vigorously push for the amendment of its Act to tie all loose ends in its mandate of regulating the country’s Free Trade Zone scheme without further delay.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Francis Fadahunsi stated this during an oversight function to some Free Trade Zones in Lagos.
The free zones visited are: Quits Aviation, NAHCO, ASL, Pan African, LADOL and Snake Island Integrated FZ.
Senator Fadahunsi said the excavation of perennial crisis between NEPZA and the Onne Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority OGEFZA, must be put to rest, noting that the existing laws that established both agencies gave them distinct functions.
He explained that going by NEPZA Act 63 of 1992, the Authority was bestowed with the sole mandate of regulating Nigeria’s Free Trade Zone Scheme.
The Chairman of the Committee, however, explained that OGEFZA was also a creation of the parliament in 1994 with a clear mandate to operate as a zone in the downstream sector in Onne and Okpokri in River State.
He stated that the Committee was more concerned with the two agencies performing their duties to grow employment and revenue for the government, pointing out that the regular squabbles were clear acts of economic sabotage that government would no longer condone.
The Lawmaker expressed satisfaction with the huge contributions of zones and their enterprises to the national economy, stressing that the new NEPZA management had ignited the return of confidence and passion of the operators of the scheme.
On his part, Alhaji Adamu Fanda, NEPZA’s Board Chairman, said the Authority would perform better if placed under the supervision of the presidency, saying that it was the position in all countries where the scheme had succeeded.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof Adesoji Adesugba said the Authority was working assiduously to ensure that the scheme was turned around to deliver the quantum of deliverables commensurate with government investment in the sector.