The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), has stopped all charges on containers imported into the nation’s oil and gas free zones to cut the cost of doing business.
In a letter of May 23, 2017, OGFZA’s head of operations and technical services, Mr Adekunle Ajayi, who signed for the managing director, directed the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), the company charging the fees, to suspend the imposition of the levy at once.
The managing director, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, described the cancellation as a significant expression of commitment by OGFZA to the Federal Government policy on the ease of doing business and a vote for due process.
He said there was need to do all that was proper to help free zones investors who have felt the pinch of the economic downturn on their bottom line.
The Exporters’ Association of Nigeria (EAN), hailed the decision as “a welcome development and good news” to hundreds of “exporters who were already complaining about the terminal charges.”
Prince Joseph Idiong, director-general of the association, said his office received a written complaint from association members in July last year not just about the levy but even about an increase in the charge per container.
He explained that following the complaint, the association wrote to the World Bank office on global competitiveness asking them to intervene and get the Nigerian government to do something about the tariff.
“It is therefore gratifying that while we were still expecting to hear from the World Bank, OGFZA has delivered the good news,” he said.