Fed Govt Probes N14bn Allocated To NSEZCO In Budget
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, has clarified that the N14 billion budgeted for the Nigeria Special Economic Zones Company (NSEZCO) is been investigated as the said money appropriated for the company is still intact and in custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Minister also clarified that NSEZCO is not a private company but a company set up by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in cooperation with private investors. It was reported that the sum of N14 billion was included in the budget of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for NZSECO which was claimed to be a private company operated by former minister, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah.
The minister who gave the clarifications before the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje on Monday in Abuja said the whole concept in setting up the company is to have specialized zones where special industrial activities will take place, adding that the company intends to include the Federal Government as a major shareholder. He said the setting up of the company had FEC approval, Presidential endorsement and so it is a government company.
He said at the moment, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies are probing the matter. “Nobody has touched a dime from the money and it is beinv investigated by the appropriate security agencies.
“We believe the Federal Government should hold a share in the company and we have stepped down plans because investigation is still ongoing on the matter but once the investigation is concluded, we will look at the proper manner in which the money should be set up. “Where there are mistakes, it will be corrected such that government will hold a proper share and the private investors too will hold a proper share .
Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau said their attention was brought to the misappropriation of N14 billion budgeted to a private company (NZSECO) and it became a matter in Senate and that company is a private entity.
It was reported that the sum of N14 billion was included in the budget of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for NZSECO which was claimed to be a private company operated by former minister, Okechukwu Enelamah. Further allegations was that the former minister, Okechukwu Enelamah had “illegal and fraudulent” transferred N14.37bn from the capital account of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority to a private company- Nigeria Special Economic Zones Company.
It was also alleged that the former minister changed the identity of the private company, it was discovered that the company’s real name was Nigeria Sez Investment Company Limited and not Nigeria Special Economic Zones Company. It claimed that out of the three directors of the company, two were serving aides of the minister.