The Oil and Gas Free Trade Zones Authority (OGFZA) has revealed that for the period covering 2001- 2020, it attracted Foreign Direct Investments valued at $16.6 billion, and also attracted N255.33 billion worth of local investments.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director, OGFZA, Mr Umana Okon Umana, in a meeting with newsmen on Sunday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria. He stated that the OGFZA attracted local investments of N255.33 billion in the same period and that between January and May 2021, the sum of N9.41 billion had been generated as revenue by OGFZA through the free trade zones.
“The revenue showed that N2.1 billion was generated in January, while February, March, April and May had N1.45 billion, N4.39 billion, N1 billion and N453.98 million respectively,” Umana said. He added that efficient services delivery on the operational side of running the free trade zones had greatly improved through dedicated leadership as well as the commitment and exceptional quality of members of staff of the Authority and that N6.1 billion worth of investments were expected to materialise in the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone.
“To grow investment also meant looking at the structures within our zones because as I said, you can only attract FDI if you are globally competitive. “We took a number of steps, we reviewed our standard of operation, we came out with timeline for delivery of our services.
“For example, in the past, we did not have a specific timeline for renewal of the license or to reissue new licenses or even to process cargos. We came up with specific timelines – we say for example that we will take only 48 hours to clear cargos if the cargos were consigned in Free Zones,” he said.
He added that it would take seven days to renew a license with all the requirements met, and it would take 21 days to issue a new license and with all the requirements met. He stated that between 2005 and 2015, the authority created 40,508 direct and indirect jobs with a conservative estimate of about 160,000.