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Free Zones Authority Attracts $16b to Nigeria

… Moves to Amend OGFZA Act

By Chike Duru

The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, Nigeria (OGFZA) says it has attracted about Sixteen Billion Dollar ($16b) worth of investment commitment to Nigeria.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of OGFZA, Senator Tijjani Kaura disclosed this during a media parley at the Authority’s office in Abuja, Wednesday.

According to him, “between 2021 and 2025, OGFZA attracted a total investment commitment of $15.97b from new and existing investors in five of the Oil and Gas Free Zones.”

“They include Brass Oil and Gas Free Zone: Proposed investment – $3b; Notore Oil and Gas Free zone:  Proposed Investment-$5.35b; Liberty Oil and Gas free zone:  Proposed Investment-$6.4b; Bestaf Maritime and Industrial OGFZ: Proposed Investment-$485m and OGFZ-SBA Free zone: Proposed investment-$738m.”

Speaking on the mandate of OGFZA, Kaura stated that the “Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, Nigeria (OGFZA) is the premier agency of government responsible for promoting, securing, and sustaining investments in the oil and gas free zones in the country.”

“As part of our core functions, we are mandated to facilitate Public-Private partnership investment in the nation’s oil and gas free zones as vehicle for promoting accelerated growth and sustainable development.”

“OGFZA was established in 1996 as the first government agency in the world solely dedicated for the regulation of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in the energy industry.”

On the challenges facing the Authority, Kaura lamented what he described as infrastructural deficit, as well as interference with the operations of the Authority.

“One of the major challenges bedeviling our Free Zones activities, is the deplorable state of the Port Harcourt – Onne Junction of East-West Road. This section of the East-West Road provides access to major Oil and Gas Free Zones and other national strategic investments of national economic importance, including the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Notore Industrial Complex, Eleme Refinery, Indorama Petrochemical complex, Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone, Akwa Ibom State etc.”

“The Authority is also faced with the problem of regulatory interferences due to lack of understanding of the peculiar nature of the operations of free trade zones.”

On strengthening the legal framework of the organisation, he stressed that “we are also taking steps to update the laws setting up the Authorities to meet with present day realities.”



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