The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has revealed that the company he voted N42 billion in the ministry’s 2019 budget has incomplete investors’ diligence, documentation and approvals.
This was contained in a statement released, yesterday, in Abuja to clarify issues surrounding the rejection of the ministry’s budget by the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment for voting the money to the ‘private’ company.
The minister said the company, Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited (NSEZCO), also known as Nigeria Special Economic Zones Company Limited, was incorporated, with the Federal Government having 25 percent shares, while the balance of 75 per cent is currently held in trust on behalf of other prospective shareholders.
He said the shares are held in trust “pending completion of investors’ diligence and documentation and approval procedures.”
Chairman of the Senate Committee expressed worry over why the minister would introduce a N42 billion line in the budget for a ‘private’ company which is not part of the 17 agencies under the trade ministry.
The chairman said documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that the directors of the company with 75 percent shares included Dr. Bakari Wadinga, Mr. Olufemi Edun and Ms Oluwadara Owoyemi, while the remaining 25 was allocated to the Federal Government.
The committee had asked the minister to explain how the private company whose shares were limited to the owners got into the Federal Government’s appropriation bill.