President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned the 4th phase of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone (OGFTZ), near Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which has attracted $8 billion investments over the years through 170 companies operating there presently, BusinessDay reports.
The president, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, also flagged off construction of phase 4B worth almost $3 billion to be executed by Deep Offshore Services Limited, expected to increase job opportunities from 35,000 to 50,000 direct slots.
The commissioned phase 4A was built by Integrated Logistics Limited (Intels), which acquired the right to operate the Onne Port in 1980 as Nigeria’s first concession experiment. The commissioning was witnessed by Idris Umar, transport minister, his trade and investment counterpart, Olusegun Aganga, the board of trustees’ chairman of the ruling PDP, Tony Anenih, and top Federal Government functionaries and company executives.
Describing the project as a direct result of seamless collaboration between the present administration, the Ministry of Transport and the stakeholders, Jonathan hailed the status of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone as the fastest and biggest in the world. He commended Intels for beating the deadline by many months and urged Deep Offshore which has six years to also beat the deadline to brace up.
Giving details of the project, Mathew Volpi, the managing director of Orleans Invest, speaking for Intels, said the attraction of 170 companies into Onne was a huge vote of confidence in Nigeria’s economy and the ability of the government to drive the oil and gas industry.