FG committed to establishment of 6 special economic zones
In a bid to boost direct foreign investment into the country, the federal government has reiterated its resolve to expend N51.4 billion for establishment of six special economic zones this year.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who gave this hint, said the federal government decision to invest in the special economic is predicated on that fact that the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne, Rivers State , has attracted over $20 billion in investments to the country.
He stated this at a stakeholders’ forum and the unveiling of the Roadmap of the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority organised by OGFZA in Onne yesterday.
Represented by the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investments, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, he said the Federal Government would not relent in its support to investors in the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority because of their immense contribution to national development.
The minister explained that the federal government appreciates the critical role of free zones as veritable engines of growth for the economy, hence, the decision to appropriate N51.4b in the 2017 budget for the establishment of six special economic zones in the country.
“In order to underscore the critical role of the Free Zones as drivers of economic growth, the Federal Government in the 2017 budget estimates made
a strong policy statement in support of the concept of the Free Zones by setting aside a special provision of N51.4 billion for the establishment of six Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country having recognized Free Zones as veritable engines of growth for the economy.
“For this reason, the Federal Government will continue to support OGFZA and investors in the Oil and Gas Free Zones because of their important
contributions to national economic development. Over the years, the Oil and Gas Free Zones have attracted more than $20 billion in investments and
created about 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. They have also facilitated the transfer of skills and technology in the oil and gas sector to Nigerians” he said.
The minister said he was delighted by proactive stance of the management of the oil and gas free zone to prepare a detailed roadmap and an information-rich marketing brochure, to further attract investors and give impetus to businesses.
“The Roadmap we are unveiling today is a critical work tool for OGFZA. It will help to measure economic and social progress in the Oil and Gas Free Zones. The steps outlined by OGFZA to enhance service delivery, improve on the ease of doing business and automate its operations will help in creating the enabling environment to create and sustain investments” he added.
On his part, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of OGFZA, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, said the roadmap has been designed to improve the ease of doing business in the zone
“The path of the new OGFZA is well laid out in our roadmap, which we are unveiling today, along with our marketing brochure to guide existing and potential investors to the array of incentives available in the Free Zones. The Roadmap is a product of our vision to be the premier investment promotion agency of government by facilitating the establishment of businesses in the Oil and Gas Free Zones with the creation of an enabling environment for investment” he said.