By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) will be coordinating the Nigerian Oil and Gas SEZ activities at the 2018 Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) holding at the World Trade Center Washington D.C, USA.
Mr Umana Okon Umana, MD and CEO of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) will be speaking about Nigeria’s oil and gas investment opportunities in the free trade zones at the event.
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme, Mr Umana stated that The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority is the Apex regulatory Authority established to regulate and manage Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone.
“Nigeria is the largest producer of oil and gas in Africa and the 6th largest in the world. In addition, we are the largest economy in Africa, the only country in Africa with dedicated oil and gas free trade zones and we are open for business.
“The country is on a growth trajectory with a GDP growth of 1.92 % y-o-y (as at Q4, 2017); and a projected growth rate of 4.8% for the year 2018. The federal, state and local Governments are committed to maintaining this growth trend.
The Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan [ERGP] is the encapsulation of this commitment; and since its implementation, Nigeria has moved 24 points up in the ease of doing business ranking according to the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index for 2018. In addition to our excellent macro-economic story,” he added
Speaking further, Mr. Umana disclosed that the core mandate of OGFZA is to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) for Nigeria; as a result, the business model offers a level playing field for all investors. One of the incentives in operating as a licensed free zone enterprise is 100% expatriate quota which offers opportunities for technology transfer so that local population is trained in competitive and viable fields of specializations. Through technology transfer, Nigerian youths get equipped with the technical know-how to start off their enterprises within the customs territory.
“Our zones offer them the opportunities to acquire these skills through mentorship in paid employment, obviating the need to travel overseas for training.
“As a regulator of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zones, we are particularly interested in attracting modular refineries, gas plants, petrochemical plants and companies along these value chains.
“The Zabazaba FPSO project is strategically positioned in proximity to our free zone in the Brass Oil and Gas City, Southern Nigeria. The existence and success of this oil and gas offshore project will directly impact on our zones. Its success will make our free zone a more attractive site for businesses along the FPSO value chain to situate.
“We are of course excited to receive interests from developers who want to develop and operate any of our greenfield zones on a long term concession period through a BOT Public-Private-Partnership model.”