The Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, Nigeria(OGFZA), Sen. Tijjani Kaura, says the free zones would attract a total of 15.97 billion dollars investment to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025 .
Kaura made this known at a maiden media parley on Wednesday in Abuja, where he rolled out the achievements of the agency as he marked one year in office in Abuja.
He said ”the OGFZA regulates eight free zones, six of them are fully operational while the remaining two are at various stages of completions.”
According to him, these zones are evolving well and are making impactful contribution to the nations economy.
”The zones includes Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Warri Oil and Gas Free Zone and Eko Support Oil and Gas Free Zone.
”Others includes Brass Oil and Gas Free Zone, Notore Oil and Gas Free Zone, Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone, Bestaf Maritime and Industrial OGFZ and OGFZ-SBA Free Zone a newly declared zone with licence in progress.”
OGFZA boss said the authority had recorded achievements in quantitative terms, which has contributed significantly on the nation’s GDP in the last two decades.
He noted that it attracted foreign direct investment of 21.6 billion dollars.
According to him, it has technical skills to 35,330 Nigerians and generated direct employment for 41,085 persons and indirect employments for 164,000 persons at the same period.
”OGFZA has generated billions of revenue for government from 2018 to 2021, this includes the customs duty N119 billions for goods exported from free zones to customs territory.
” It also includes withholding tax of N10.4 billion for transaction carried out between free zone enterprises and non – free zone licensees and Value Added Tax(Vat) of N9. 5 billion for transaction carried out.”
He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to look into some of the issues affecting the agency that could stall the growth of business for investors in the country.
He said one of the major challenges bedeviling the free zone activities was the deplorable state of roads in Port Harcourt, and Akwa Ibom.
According to Kaura , the problem of regulatory interference due to lack of understanding of the nature of operation of free trade zones, he however said there was need to update the law setting up the authority to meet present day realities.
He also appealed to President Bola Tinubu to create an enabling business environment to attract more investors into the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that OGFZA was established in 1996 as the first government agency in the world dedicated for the regulation of Special Economic Zone(SEZ) in the energy industry.
OGFZA is the premier agency of government responsible for promoting, securing and sustaining investments in the oil and gas free zones in the country.