NEPZA licences three new FZs, nets $2.8bn in FDI – Jime
*Clears air on budget padding allegation
The Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, has disclosed that the Authority, under his watch, has licenced three new Free Trade Zones (FTZs).
Jime, who disclosed this in his Christmas Message, gave the names of the new FTZs as: Nasco Town FTZ; Quit Aviation Services FTZ; and Tomaro FTZ.
He explained that, besides this netting the country over $2.751billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, the new FTZs are targeting direct jobs in excess of 50, 000.
His words: “Under my stewardship, we have so far been able to licence three new industrial parks i.e. Nasco Town Free Zone, which is valued $2,086billion. It is estimated, at completion, to be able to provide 15,000 direct jobs.
“The second is Quit Aviation Services Free Zone, valued at $215million, and is estimated to provide jobs in their thousands. And there is: Tomaro Industrial Park, in Lagos, valued at $450million. It would also provide jobs running into the thousands.”
The NEPZA helmsman listed challenges he met upon assumption of office to include low staff morale, inter-agency rivalry, delayed promotions and poor investor-confidence, but said he has been able to make appreciable impact with the support of his cooperative management team.
The managing director used the occasion to refute the erroneous media reports that the Authority had padded its 2018 budget estimates.
His words: “I wish to state clearly, categorically and emphatically that any story about a padded budget or a bloated personnel cost by the Authority is false and misleading. NEPZA has neither padded her budget proposal nor bloated its personnel cost!
“Although the stories mentioned figures here and there, both failed to state clearly that the figures were queries from the Distinguished Senators to which the NEPZA leadership gave clear, detailed and satisfactory explanations.
“It is true that the Personnel Cost in NEPZA’s 2017 budget is N638million and the proposed budget for 2018 is N710million, but it is grossly incorrect to insinuate or suggest that the ‘budget was over bloated’ or state that ‘there is a N205million surplus discovered’ in the 2018 budget estimates of NEPZA.
The statement reads further: “Personnel Costs of Government Agencies, NEPZA inclusive, are domiciled with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), and NEPZA has no access to the fund as the staff are paid directly through the IPPIS.
“The Authority wishes to state further that the Authority’s gross monthly salary figure is over N53million. Staff pensions, PAYE, NHIS and other deductions are made at source at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF).
“It is only the net of these deductions that enter into NEPZA’s account at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). And if we multiply just N53million by 12months, what we get is over N636million!”
“In essence, the deductions from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) form part of the Authority’s Personnel Cost. This is why my team and I took time to explain the variation in figures to the Senate Panel when the Distinguished Senators asked the questions. The general public is advised to note this explanation accordingly,” it added.