The National Association of Licensed Customs Agents has criticised the Federal Government’s decision to extend the oil and gas zone and imposition of a single sourcing of oil and gas logistics to intels.
During an exclusive interview in Lagos, National President of the named association, Lucky Amiwero, described the decision as illegal.
He called “the Federal Government’s attention to the illegal extension of the Oil and Gas Free Zone beyond the statutory provision and the imposition of single sourcing of Oil and Gas Logistics for INTELS in clear contravention of various legal provisions with regards to Oil and Gas Free Zone and Port Operation.
“As member of the Presidential Task Force on Reform of the Nigeria Customs Service, Presidential Committee on Destination Inspection 2006, Presidential Committee on 48 hours Clearance of Goods from the Port, Presidential Committee on Port Problem and 167 other Committees of the Federal Government; we are much concerned by the disturbing situation as it concerns the current practice of operation in the Oil and Gas Free Zone that is affecting employment generation and wealth creation to the economy,” he added.
Continuing, Amiwero added that “the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Act 8 of 1996 only designates the geographic area of ONNE/Ikpokiri, Rivers State as the only Oil and Gas Free Zone in Nigeria as contained in section 1 (1), which states: The Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces hereby, DESIGNATE THE ONNE/Ikokiri area of Rivers State: as an Export Free Zone, (in this Decree referred to as “the Export Free Zone”).
He argued that “the set-up of any other Oil and Gas Free Zone in the Country in Lagos, Warri etc, contravenes the provision of the Act No. 8 of 1996 that specifies the geographical location of (Onne/Ikpokiri) as the only designated site for Oil and Gas Export Free Zone as prescribed in section1-(l) of the Act.
“Any other set up of Oil and Gas Export Free Zone apart from the legally designated site in theAct contravenes the provision of the Act, which thereby invalidates the present existing Oil and Gas Free Zones in Warri, Lagos and others.
He urged the Federal Government to comply with the provisions of the relevant Acts “for the benefit of the economy in the generation of massive employment and the creation of wealth for the nation.”