By Dipo Olowookere
The ability of management of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) pay staff salaries and overheads from its internally generated revenue (IGR) has been commended by the Senate.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, Mr Sabo Mohammed, while speaking at the OGFZA’s 2018 budget session with the committee, praised the leadership style of the agency’s Managing Director, Mr Umana Okon Umana.
The lawmaker said the OGFZA’s budget presentation was thorough, detailed and clear, requiring no follow-up questions and explanation.
The committee brought the session to a close by asking Mr Umana to take a bow and return to his office.
A member of the committee, Mr Nelson Effiong, who also spoke at the budget session, said OGFZA’s performance was unique and worthy of emulation by other agencies of the federal government.
He contrasted OGFZA’s resourcefulness with the case of other agencies which rely solely on handouts from the federal government to fund both their recurrent and capital expenditure.
Managing Director of OGFZA, Mr Umana, had formally informed the Federal Ministry of Finance in a December 6, 2017 memo that the agency could meet its staff salaries and overheads from IGR and requested the “Federal Government to suspend the funding of the recurrent expenditure of OGFZA from treasury funds.”
Financial independence that permits self-funding is one of the six goals that OGFZA set for itself under the Mr Umana-led management in its three-year roadmap which became operational at the beginning of last year.
The roadmap kicked in a series of reforms which allowed Mr Umana at year’s end to tell the Minister of Finance, “Following the measures taken by the new management of OGFZA to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), I write to inform the Honourable Minister of Finance that with effect from the 2018 financial year, the authority will no longer depend on treasury funding to meet her recurrent expenditure requirements (salaries and overheads).
“The recurrent expenditure of the Authority will be funded with our IGR.”
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