Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, Mr. Gbenga Kure, has faulted the claims of the South South National Vice Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, on the free zone status granted the Abuja Centenary City.
According to Kure, who spoke through his Technical Assistant and Senior Manager, Mr. Richard Obianu, due process was followed in granting the free zone status to the centenary city.
Ojougboh, a former Chairman of the Board of NEPZA, had alleged in an interview that the managing director did not follow due process in granting free zone status to the Centenary City.
According to him, the Board, which he was the chairman, was sidelined by Kure to grant free zone status to the Centenary City, as he requested him to produce the approval given by the Board.
Ojougboh, who had earlier stated that all that went in the establishment of the Centenary City was a scam, alleged that the managing director was an accomplice to the crime committed in establishing the City.
But responding to the allegation, Kure said, “This is the Free Zone Authority that licenses and regulates all free zones in the country. There is no free zone that would be licensed or situated without passing through this organisation. So, the issue of granting Abuja Centenary City a Free Trade Zone was brought to the agency and we have a process that we follow before a free trade zone status would be granted and the applicant (Abuja Centenary City) went through the process and even went beyond that because we subjected them to more stringent measures to ensure that the right thing was done.
“Normally, when a prospective applicant for Free Trade Zone wants to obtain an approval he will apply to us, we will give them the check list of the requirements that they are supposed to meet and this includes the submission of an approved Certificate of Occupancy, C of O; submission of Environment Impact Assessment, EIA; and submission of business plan.
The Abuja Centenary City has been a subject of controversy as the PDP chieftain had accused a former Secretary of the Government of the Federation of enriching himself through the policy.

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