The management of LADOL Free Zone has insisted that all charges levied in the zone are statutory, including the recently referenced one per cent charge.
It described the one per cent charge as “government fee”, which must be paid in line with the requirements for investments at the free zone, as duly communicated to all by the Federal Government.
In an interview session, the Managing Director, LADOL Free Zone, Amy Jadesimi, said: “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.”
She said the enterprises operating within the LADOL Free Zone, and the related parties have met with and discussed these charges with government in detail.
“This is not a unilateral action and to state otherwise is incorrect,” she stressed.
According to Jadesimi, to operate within a free zone, companies must meet certain legal criteria, which include compliance with zone regulations on employment and working conditions, and obeying free zone rules and the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Free zones in Nigeria, she explained, offer investors a peaceful, safe, and cost-effective environment, with minimal bureaucracy.
She added: “By design, the benefits foreign companies enjoy far outweigh the statutory charges levied by the free zone management and authority.
The charges are known and required to maintain the zones and the Free Zone Scheme.”
he LADOL boss noted that operating in LADOL under the Federal Government’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ results in real local content development, which in turn means real cost savings for the companies operating in the free zone, and the creation of thousands of jobs for Nigerians.
Jadesimi said LADOL remained committed to the quest to industrialised Nigeria, and making it the hub for trade and job creation.
Also commenting on the issue bordering on licensing, she said: “It is done on the basis of the law. The law determines our stand.”
Nigeria, she noted, stand to benefit a great deal from the happenings at the trade zone, which she said would be a huge success if all stakeholders continued to work together to create more opportunities for businesses.