The Federal Government yesterday said that Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone has attracted fresh N32 billion investment into the country in the last 10 months.
The N32 billion investment when added to the $4 billion capital investment reported in 2012, brings the total investment so far made in the Onne oil and gas free zone to $4.2 billion (N672 billion)
The Minister of Trade Industry and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga made the disclosure at the ongoing oil and gas trade and investment forum in Onne, Port- Harcourt.
The forum, which was organised by Orlean Invest West Africa Ltd in partnership with the federal government had as its theme “Investment opportunities in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.”
The minister stated that the volume of investment into the country was remarkable in view of global economic meltdown and competition.
He noted that the success of the policy on FTZ had increased the demand at the sub-national level of government for a replication of free zones in other parts of the country.
According to him, “The Onne Oil and Gas Zone remains a pace setter, with additional investment of $200m added in 2013, to $4bn capital investments reported in 2012.
“This is indeed a remarkable progress when considered in the light of a weak global economy and the cutthroat competition, even among emerging and advanced economies for inflow foreign direct investment.
“The success of our FTZ policy, has invariably, increased the demand at the sub-national level of government for replication of free zones in other parts of the country, while an avalanche of applications for setting up business enterprises in the various FTZs keep pouring in from prospective investors.”
Aganga said the genuineness and sincerity of purpose of government to enthrone the private sector as the main driver of growth and development of the nation’s economy is not in doubt.”
On the importance of the theme of the forum, Aganga added that it would not only consolidate the gains achieved in the first edition but would also help deepen investments in the sector.
“To all intent, the oil and gas industry remains the prime mover of Nigeria’s economy, while the oil and gas free zone concept continues to be strategic in the facilitation of private sector investments in the sector, in line with the nation’s industrial policy,” he added.
Given the role of the private sector in driving the national economy towards sustainable development, the minister urged investors to explore the available incentive packages offered by the free trade zones.
Information from National Mirror was used in this report.