By Oluwatoyin Amao
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) said it has licensed three new Free Trade Zones (FTZs) and netted the country over $2.751billion in Foreign Direct Investment.
The Managing Director, Emmanuel Jime, in a statement 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.
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.
He refuted reports that the Authority had padded its 2018 budget estimates.
“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 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 N638 million and the proposed budget for 2018 is N710 million, 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.
“Personnel costs of government agencies, NEPZA inclusive, are domiciled with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and NEPZA has no access to the fund as the staff are paid directly through the IPPIS.
“The Authority wishes to state further that its gross monthly salary figure is over N53 million. Staff pensions, PAYE, NHIS and other deductions are made at source at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
“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 N636 million.”
“In essence, the deductions from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation form part of the Authority’s personnel cost,” he said.
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