Posted by News Express | 23 May 2020 | 603 times
Critical stakeholders in the Oil and Gas Free Zones have urged the Federal Government, to as a matter of urgency to investigate the management of Oil and Gas Export Free Zones Authority (OGEFZA), over its alleged “economic sabotage” and “fraudulent misrepresentation” of the country.
The stakeholders, in a statement in Abuja, alleged that OGEFZA was trying to sabotage the Nigerian economy by creating chaos among investors in Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) approved Free Zones, which may lead to investors pulling out.
The stakeholders accused Umana Okon Umana-led management of OGEFZA of attempting to take over the regulatory functions of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) without recourse to due process or any legislative amendment.
According to the statement, “the latest attempt by the Umana Okon Umana-led management of OGEFZA is to surreptitiously take over the operations of some Free Zones already within the regulatory control of NEPZA without recourse to due process or any legislative amendment to that effect.
“The Federal Government has done a lot of work in the area of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ with the sole aim of making the business environment attractive to both local and foreign investors, but with the continued mischievous activities of the Umana Okon Umana-led management of OGEFZA, a lot of investors in the country and other prospective investors would begin to doubt the sincerity of the Federal Government in its drive towards “Ease of Doing Business.”
The stakeholders further alleged that the management of OGEFZA was usurping the powers of the court, saying that the judiciary remains the only constitutionally recognised authority saddled with the responsibility of interpretation of laws in Nigeria.
To this end, the stakeholders called for thorough investigation into the activities of the management of OGEFZA to protect the investments of unsuspecting investors and forestall unnecessary confusion and disruption among business operators and investors within the approved NEPZA Free Zones.
“The compulsory take-over of the regulatory affairs of Free Zones licensed by NEPZA without appropriate legislative amendments and due process will unsettle investors and lead to attendant financial losses for stakeholders and the country.” (Sunday Independent)
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