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Budget: Committee queries NEPZA over cash transfer

The Joint committee on trade and Investment has directed the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority to return about 14.3billion naira to the Federal Government coffers .

This directive was issued to the Agency at the 2019 Budget defense in the National Assembly.

According to the committee, the amount was transferred into an account of a company instead of returning all unspent funds to the CBN.

The Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Sabo said the process with which the money was transferred to the account was illegal.

He alleged that the money was appropriated for the Agency since 2017 which was not used but was rather moved to the account last week.

The Vice Chairman, House committee on Commerce, Mr Solomon Maren said whatever reason that was given by NEPZA before transferring the money to an account outside the Agency was unacceptable.

He maintained that the legislature was the highest body meant to appropriate funds for Agencies of Government.

Meanwhile, the Acting Director General of NEPZA, Mr Terhembe Nongo, explained that the money was an investment fund which the Agency had a written for permission from the Attorney General’s office to transfer the money.

The Committee is expected to recommend to both chambers if the 46billion naira 2019 budget proposal for the Agency is to be approved.

Amaka Ene

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