By Felix Khanoba
Stakeholders in free zones in the country have raised concern over the mode of operations of Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority (OGEFZA), saying some of the agency’s activities portend danger to investments.
The stakeholders, made up of investors in free zones of the country, called on the Federal Government to beam its search light on alleged misrepresentation of the powers of agency.
The stakeholders, in a document obtained by The AUTHORITY in Abuja on Wednesday, said the management of OGEFZA appears to be carrying out regulations which fall under the purview of Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).
“Its activities in trying to sabotage the economy of Nigeria by creating chaos among investors in NEPZA approved Free Zones may lead to investors pulling out their investments”, they warned.
Recall that Nigerdock Nigeria Plc, Simco Freezone Company and Nigerdock Nigeria Plc-FZE, had before now dragged OGEFZA to a Federal High Court over plan of the agency to assume total control of activities in Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ).
According to the document, the stakeholders also frowned at the alleged expulsion of “Export” from the name of OGEFZA and the replacement of the word “Zone” with “Zones” contrary to the extant legislation of the agency.
While saying the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010, unambiguously established OGEFZA to manage and operate a designated Oil and Gas Export Free Zone at Onne/Okpokiri area of Rivers State, the stakeholders wondered the source of new regulatory powers being allegedly wielded by the agency.
“It will have the tendency to mislead and deceive the unsuspecting general public and investors at large who do not have the historical background of OGEFZA”, the group said.
They said allowing OGEFZA’s management to be carrying out activities not within its assigned mandate will also send negative signals to would-be investors in free zones in the country.