The Senate Committee on Trade and Investment on Monday rejected the 2019 budgetary proposal of the Ministry of Industry , Trade and Investment for voting N 42bn to a ‘private ’ company . The panel claimed that the firm , Special Economic Zone Company, was a private company , against the claims by the ministry
The Senate Committee on Trade and Investment on Monday rejected the 2019 budgetary proposal of the Ministry of Industry , Trade and Investment for voting N 42bn to a ‘private ’ company .
The panel claimed that the firm , Special Economic Zone Company, was a private company , against the claims by the ministry that it was a government firm .
The development led to the outright rejection of the ministry ’ s proposal of N 15 . 6 bn as its 2019 budget presented to the Senate panel.
Trouble started when the panel confronted the minister , Okechukwu Enelamah , during the budget defence session to explain why his ministry proposed N 15 bn as its 2019 budget but sought the National Assembly approval of N 42bn for a private firm .
The minister had earlier presented a booklet containing the 2019 budget proposals for the agencies under his ministry to the Senator Sabo Mohammed panel.
However , after his presentation , the panel chairman drew the attention of Enelamah to item 2 on page 7 of the booklet which has N 42. 091 bn budgetary allocation for the Nigeria Special Economic Zone Company.
The panel insisted that the firm was not known to be one of the 17 agencies under the ministry .
The minister said the company was established through a presidential initiative and given approval at a cabinet meeting in May 2018.
He said , “ One of the areas that this government has focused on is infrastructure. The second area is industrialisation and the two have something in common .
“ If the government tries to do it alone, it would be extremely taxing. So , the President directed that we should bring other partners that can contribute to whatever money we have to build world – class infrastructure which led to the establishment of the company in partnership with other investors. ”
Meanwhile , when asked to explain the owners of the company , the minister said it was owned by the Federal Government and other shareholders . But the panel disagreed with him .
The chairman of the committee then told him that a document obtained by them from the Corporate Affairs Commission signed by Terver Ayua – Jor , for the Registrar General, did not agree with the minister ’ s submission.
According to him , the letter from the CAC contains information on how the company was registered .