The Nigerian oil and gas free zones have raked in over $20 billion worth of investments since inception and created more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority of Nigeria (OGFZA), Mr. Umana Umana, said on Tuesday at the opening of the stakeholders’ forum in Abuja organised by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to amend the oil and gas free trade act.
On the revenue side, Umana said that between 2010 and 2015, the Nigerian Customs Service generated revenue of N143.2 billion from oil and gas free zone alone.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) generated $2.1 billion and N19.1 billion from the oil and gas free zones, he said.
On the non-crude cargos, he said that the Onne Port handled 267.2 million cargoes; Lagos Port 221.6 million cargoes; while Tin Can handled 163.5 million during the period.
He said the recently unveiled three-year strategic roadmap which aims at growing investment in the oil and gas free zones by 50 percent in the next three years.
The roadmap reflected the vision of the oil and gas free zone agency to be the premier agency of government for the promotion of investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas free zones.
One of the means to more investment is more access to OGFZA through its repackaged and robust website and the publication of a bye-weekly newsletter to enhance interaction with existing and prospective investors.
He added that the drive for new investment would be facilitated by a corporate culture of integrity, respect for investors and due process, transparency and accountability as well as passion for customer centric engagement with investors.
Umana said that efforts to amend the laws have come at the right time when the federal government is focused on the drive to diversify the economy.
He explained that while the amendment would deepen specialisation and efficiency in the sector, there are at the same time expected to strongly encourage investment in the non-oil sector.
In order to further attract investors, he said that an array of incentives have been put in place, including waiver for form M requirement for importation into the free zones.