The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, OGFZA, says it has attracted $15.97b investment commitment between 2021 and 2025 .
The Managing Director of OGFZA, Senator Tijjani Kaura made this known in Abuja while addressing newsmen on some landmark achievements and contributions of the Authority to the growth of Nigeria’s economy.
Senator Kaura said the investment commitment were from the existing investors in five of the Oil and Gas Free Zones in the country.
According to Senator Kaura: “Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority has recorded real achievements in quantitative terms which have contributed significantly to the nation’s GDP in the last two decades especially in three key induces namely – Foreign Direct Investment, FDI of $21.6b (2001-2021), Technical Skills Transferred to Nigerians – 35,330 (2001-2021), Number of Nigerians who have secured various levels of direct employment – 41,085 and 164,000 indirect employments within the same period”.
According to him, the Authority contributes to the reduction of Federal Government’s personnel and overhead costs by offering to become a partially self-funding Agency since January, 2021 thereby saving the Federal Government over 2.3 billion naira.
He explained that out of eight Free Zones established by OGFZA, six are fully operational, one is under construction while one is newly declared and undergoing licensing process.
The Managing Director of OGFZA pointed out that the Authority had been recognized with various awards from the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC and other other global recognition reiterated the determination of the Authority towards repositioning Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s led administration in the area of economy.
“In this regard, OGFZA has already established Oil and Gas Free Zones in the resource – rich areas of Akwa Ibom State Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States and in these States, the Authority has attracted gas processing projects such as Giwa Gas Project, the Proposed Methanol Plant Project and the Meliora Methanol FZE Project” he added.
Senator Kaura however enumerated the challenges confronting OGFZA activities to include: deplorable state of the Port Harcourt -Onne junction of East West road, regulatory interference due to lack of understanding of the peculiar nature of the operation of Free Trade Zones noting that steps are being taken towards addressing them.
The Managing Director said the Act establishing OGFZA would be reviewed towards meeting the current realities in the sector.
He therefore, solicited the support of the media and all stakeholders towards realizing the mandate of OGFZA and contribute to national economic development.