Amy Jadesimi, managing director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), says the company will collaborate with the federal government to ensure fairness in the review of free zone tariffs.
Jadesimi said this will help foreign and local investors with operations in the free zone to benefit from the scheme in line with the government’s ease of doing business mandate.
She made this known during a press briefing at the company’s head office in Lagos on Tuesday.
Jadesimi said while a regular review of tariff by the government is in order, companies operating in the free zone should not abuse the statutory charges.
“As is the case with all other tariff structures and industries — including customs tariffs and NPA tariffs — I think it is good for government to regularly review our tariff schedules. We want to make Nigeria an attractive place to do business. But such a review must be done in a scientific manner and it should not be done on the back of pressure due to misinformation,” she said.
“Ease of doing business is very important, but we also have to make sure foreign companies or even local companies don’t take advantage of this to break our laws.
“We do advocate and we will work closely with the federal government for any review of tariffs to make sure that they are fair and that federal government collects what it needs to collect to keep the free zones scheme going, while at the same time foreign companies and local companies enjoy the benefits of the free zone scheme.”
The LADOL MD also spoke on the allegations of high charges levied on companies operating in LADOL’s free zone.
LADOL runs Global Resources Free Zone Management (GRFRM), a 100 percent owned subsidiary located at the point of entry into the Lagos harbour.
According to her, the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) approves all the tariffs charged by the LADOL free zone, thereby making it legally binding on companies operating within the zone.
“All charges levied in the free zone by the authority and the management are statutory, including the recently referenced one percent charge. All tariffs are mandated by federal government policy, which are subsequently issued within a transparent framework. No free zone enterprise operating in LADOL free zone has ever been charged any amount by management or the authority that was not on the government approved tariff schedule,” Jadesimi said.
“The enterprises operating within LADOL free zone and the related parties have met with and discussed these charges with government in detail, as they are statutory charges. This is not a unilateral action and to state otherwise is incorrect.”