The Senate Committee on Trade, Industry and Investment has declared the Dangote, Lekki, Alaro City and the Lagos Free Trade Zones, which make up the Lekki mega free zone and the Eko Atlantic free zone, as national assets.
“The committee is particularly happy with Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the other investors for considering Nigeria worthy to host those economic empires. The prospects of these mega-firms will significantly improve the lives of Nigerians and the country’s GDP when fully operational,” the Chairman of the committee, Francis Fadahunsi, said.
Mr Fadahunsi disclosed this as the senate committee members rounded off a four-day oversight tour of the trade zones in Lagos.
Free zones visited by the committee included Quits Aviation, NAHCO, ASL, Pan African, LADOL and Snake Island Integrated FZ.
The committee had urged the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to lobby for more regulatory powers through an act amendment last Wednesday.
“Going by NEPZA Act 63 of 1992, the Authority is bestowed with the sole mandate of regulating Nigeria’s Free Trade Zone Scheme. NEPZA by this Act is a regulatory body,” Mr Fadahunsi said.
He added, “If the agency wanted to enlarge its powers to cover the entire country, the operators should also come up with a bill seeking amendment of the Act. OGEFZA has never been a regulatory body.”
Mr Fadahunsi maintained that an amendment of the NEPZA would align the body’s mandate of regulating the country’s free trade zone scheme, making reference to the controversy between NEPZA and the Onne Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority (OGEFZA).