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CSO Seeks Merger Of Oil & Gas Free Zone With NEPZA

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The Anti-Corruption and Research Database Initiative (ARDI), has urged the National Assembly to urgently repeal the 1996 Act establishing the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA) and merge it with the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) as one agency.

Chief executive secretary of ARDI, Chief Dennis Aghanya, in a statemenrt, noted that part of its objectives as a non-governmental organisation was to provide necessary data through its research efforts that would guide government in its policy formulations and implementations.

This he said was the reason the organization studied the objectives of the two agencies, NEPZA and OGFZA and realised that it was an unnecessary duplication of agencies.

“We most humbly request the National Assembly to revert the earlier status of the Export Processing Zones by repealing the 1996 Act which established the Inner Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA) and amend the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Act 1992 to absorb the One Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority as a specialised department of NEPZA in Oil and Gas”.

“NEPZA Act of 1992 empowered the agency to administer and manage all the Export Processing Zones in the country.

But surprisingly, the 1996 OGFZA Act was enacted for the oil zone at Onne/ Okpokiri, probably in consideration of the importance of the sector in the nation’s economy”.

“The recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari for the implementation of the recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye led Presidential Committee on the need to downsize the number of government was determined to rewrite the wrong policies of the previous administrations in the country”.

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