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Senators vow to discourage monopoly in free trade

Senators vow to discourage monopoly in free trade
The Senate has reiterated its commitment to remove any form of monopoly that can impede the development of private and public free trade zones in Nigeria.

Speaking after inspecting facilities at the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL), members of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment led by its chairperson, Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki said, the fact-finding tour would enable the senate gather needful informa-tion to aid its review of existing laws.

According to Raji-Rasaki who was accompanied by Senators Effiong Nelson and Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, the senate has shown commitment towards creating a conducive environment that would move the economy of the nation forward by strengthening the laws governing operation of free trade zones.

Speaking further, Raji-Rasaki said, the committee would also visit similar projects in Calabar and Kano.

The Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, according to Senator Effiong Nelson had already commissioned a team of consultants to work with it in looking at 45 laws that would among other things look at the issue of monopoly and waivers from an all-inclusive view.
The issue of monopoly which gives undue advantage to a particular company has been on the front burner of discourse at the free trade zone fora. Other contentious concerns include legislative provisions pertaining to taxes, levies, duties and foreign exchange which border on the viability of the free zones.

The Chairman of LADOL, Mr. Ladi Jadesimi while thanking the committee for the visit said he hoped that it would convey a different perception of what Nigerians are capable of doing and pleaded with the legislators to create a conducive business environment devoid of policy somersault that could send wrong signal to investors.

It would be recalled that, President Muhammadu Buhari recently commended the unique contribution of the Lagos Deep offshore Logistics base (LADOL) as one of the strategic investments in the country that currently drives the nation’s economy.

Buhari made the statement when he opened proceedings at the sixth African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE VI) in Abuja organised by the African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA).

The President, who was represented at the event by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), identified LADOL, which has invested over $600million in private investment, as one of the companies that currently adding the most value to the Nigerian economy through their ingenious investments.

While lauding the efforts of the indigenous organization in building economic growth, the President similarly gave accolades to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), which is currently building one of the world’s largest oil platforms at the LADOL base in Tarkwa Bay, Lagos.

The LADOL/SHI project commonly referred to as Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platform valued at $3.8billion, is said to be first of its kind to be built in the sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the President who urged other investors to emulate the LADOL example, African countries should develop ingenious ways of promoting value addition and investments through sustainable policies in local content.


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