Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The Senate has decried the failure by the Nigeria Export Processing Zone, Calabar, Cross Rivers State, to account for its budgetary performance in 2016 and the revenue generated by the free trade zone.
The Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, in its communique after an oversight visit to the zone, expressed its displeasure with the management of NEPZA, while decrying the bad condition of facilities in the zone.
The communiqué partly read, “The Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, in line with the legislative practice of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, embarked on an oversight function on the facilities of the Nigeria Export Processing Zone in Calabar on Monday, 5th December, 2016.
“Prior to the exercise, the committee, through its secretariat, had officially communicated this scheduled visit to the Managing Director of NEPZA, like other previous attempts made in the past by the committee to inspect the facilities of NEZPA, but was turned down owing to the Managing Director’s official engagements.
“However, members of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment who visited the Calabar Free Trade Zone decried the absence of the Managing Director who was absent on the arrival of the committee’s members. Recall that several attempts were made by the committee to visit the facilities but were turned down by the Managing Director of NEPZA due to his excuses of other official engagements.
“That notwithstanding, the committee members visited different facilities and frowned on the deplorable state and abandonment of facilities within the zone.”
The committee said it had “constructive interface” with the management of different companies operating within the zone, stressing that the interaction enabled the lawmakers to understand the challenges facing the companies in the zone.
The committee added, “The most disappointing was the failure of NEPZA to furnish the Senate committee with the 2016 annual budget performance and the details of the internally generated revenue which are the major elements of the oversight. Members of the committee concluded the exercise without being able to ascertain such all-important details.
“Members therefore resolved that NEPZA should appear before it with all the necessary and detailed documents of the 2016 budget performance and IGR.”
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