Investments in oil, gas free zones hit $75b

Investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas free zones has hit $75 billion. It has also created more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs from 150 companies, it was learnt yesterday.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive, Oil and Gas Free Zones (OGFZs) Authority, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has restated his determination to sustain the growth and ensure full realisation of the mandate for which it was set up.

Speaking after taking over the mantle of leadership at the free zones authority at Onne, Rivers State, Umana pledged to “ensure the OGFZs Authority operates according to its mandate to attract foreign direct investments and local investors to the nation’s oil and gas free zones to accelerate the pace of economic growth and development, especially at this time when government is taking steps to end the recession.”

He pledged “to work in harmony with all stakeholders in the free zones such as the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure that the primary objectives of the Federal Government of driving economic growth and development, and of generating employment through the oil and gas free zones is actualised.”

He called for cooperation, total commitment and professionalism from management and workers of the authority in the execution of the task at hand. He said getting the new OGFZs Authority to rise to its huge potential will require thinking out of the box and adopting the best model of public-private partnership.

“While working to ensure that the existing oil and gas free zones are maximally utilised, we will take necessary steps to ensure that new oil and gas free zones such as Brass and Ibaka where preliminary work had already begun are fully established and become operational,” Umana promised.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve the nation and described the appointment as a platform to contribute to ongoing efforts reposition the country for economic growth and prosperity.

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