Customs implores FTZs on job creation
• Firm decries alleged monopoly
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has commended Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in the country for creating numerous direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.
Speaking during a tour of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL) and Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ) on Monday, Ali urged promoters of the facilities to contribute more to the development of the nation especially through job creation.
Accompanied by senior management staff of NCS, Ali said promoters of the projects should be commended for their initiatives, courage and commitment.
Ali, who made similar remarks at LADOL and SIIFZ, said: “SEEING is believing. I have come and have seen. I’m highly impressed with what I have seen”.
He commended workers of the facilities for their dedication to duties, noting that the Federal Government is interested in any venture that creates jobs for Nigerians.
Addressing workers at SIIFZ, Ali said: “No business can grow without committed workers. Without you (workers) nothing can happen on this island”.
He also used the opportunity to pledge the commitment of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to investigate alleged ‘dominant monopoly’ in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Logistics supply services.
According to the Customs boss, alleged monopoly in a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and its legal status is to be investigated and a decision taken at the end of the exercise.
He said: “President Muhamadu Buhari stand for fairness and transparency. The idea of change is to do business in right frame of work. We will go back and look at the law that exists. If we find any stage of injustice, we will address”.
Chairman of SIIFZ, Anwar Jarmakami had in his speech appealed to the Customs boss to tackle alleged monopoly in the sector.
Jarmakami said: “We are all aware of the dominant monopoly in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Logistics and supply services which has existed for over 20 years, sabotaging the national economy, conspiring and working against any potential competitors, particularly against Snake Island Integrated Free Zone”.
Explaining further, he said: “This monopoly has consistently and aggressively used different government institutions to compromise, maintain and entrench its monopoly position with impunity.
“Regrettably, attempts have been made in times past to also use the Customs. We therefore, appreciate the fact that the present administration is aggressively doing away with such impunity”, said Jarmakami.
Highlighting the effects of the alleged monopoly on the nation’s economy, the SIIFZ Executive Chairman said the alleged trend adds an extra cost of $3-$5 per barrel produced in Nigeria, “which translates to over $1.5billion per annum”.
He said Oil and Gas supply and logistics services in Nigeria are the most expensive in the word “because of the entrenched monopoly”.
Receiving the Customs boss at LADOL’s bass, Managing Director Dr Amy Jadesimi and Chairman, Ladi Jadesimi said the company would provide 5,000 direct jobs and 50,000 indirect jobs.