Over dependence on oil; NCS charges FTZ investors to uphold operational policies

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By; Niyi Ogungbola, Abeokuta.

The Ogun State Controller of Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Multafu Waindu has called on all investors operating in the Ogun/Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Igbesa to respect all government policies that guide their operations saying, as oil price is dwindling, there is need to intensify efforts on other areas of revenue generation.

He gave the advice during inspection tour to the zone saying, it is right time to concentrate and develops industries to replace the nation over dependency on oil.

Waindu, who visited the Zone with his counterpart from the Federal Operation Unit, Ikeja, Lagos, Comptroller Umar Dahiru, noted that the zone was established to engender smoother business relationship between the nation and China as well as other nations to ensure the development of infrastructure in the zone.

According to the Controller of Ogun Area Command, the visit and inspection became necessary as he and his FOU counterpart have only spent less than two months in the state and they needed to know what is being produced by all functional industries in the zone.

He declared that NCS is working assiduously to ensure all revenue leakages are blocked with a view to shoring up its marginal revenue generation.

Multafu declared that smuggling in the Command would be fought to a standstill, a move he promised would better the chances of local investors and producers.

Controller, FOU declared that investors in the FTZ must be sincere in their operations which would enhance the efforts of all agencies, particularly NCS, to come up with accurate calculations in terms of quantum of raw materials brought into the zone which would determine the rate and value of duties on products for export.

Dahiru expressed his displeasure about laxity in terms of adherence to safety regulations in some of the industries in the zone.

He observed that some of the workers at the extrusion factories were not provided safety gear thereby exposing them to the 100oc temperature which he noted would cause health hazard to the workers in future.

The FOU Controller, however, charged all government agencies in the zone to be up and doing on their various duties, ensuring all labour laws and safety regulations are strictly adhered to by the industries.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ogun/Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Prof. John Xue revealed that no fewer than 50 companies had berthed in the zone with 30 among them already operating.

He also disclosed that a pharmaceutical company, Xion Pharmaceutical has made a commitment of $1billion to the zone, besides the German engineering company, Bosch.

However, investors in the zone as well as the NCS complained about the poor road networks that lead to the zone.

Most customers have ignored the companies because their goods got destroyed in the process of conveying them to their bases due to poor condition of the roads.

Some of the trucks tumbled and the cargoes they are conveying got destroyed as some of these include ceramic products.

They, however, called on Ogun State Government to come to the rescue by constructing the road at least from Atan to Igbesa to reduce the loss being incurred by investors and their customers.

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