The Federal Government realised a whopping $2 billion ( about N611 billion) as revenue from the operation of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, the Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Umana Okon Umana, has said.
He spoke during the first session of the Nigeria Business Roundtable held in Lagos, yesterday. The Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone was developed by INTELS Nigeria Limited to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), create employment as well as enhance technological and industrial advancement for the country. The Zone hosts the operation of more than 170 companies and is one of the fastest growing in the world. Umana said one of the keys to attaining greater productivity and growth in the economy, is making use of the potentials of a free trade zone which offers enabling environment for investment, creates job, as well as opportunity for exports. Umana, who said the revenue came in the last six years, stated that the zones also provide companies with streamlined regulations, reduced tax obligations and state-of-the-art infrastructure. He added that the Federal Government is also introducing further reforms into the operation of free trade zones, saying the measure will culminate in the reduction of license renewal duration from 14 days to 48 hours for investors that meet all requirements in line with the ease -of-doing business policy of the Federal Government. “Statistics show that there are three million companies arising from over 5,000 free trade zones around the world which accounts for over 45 million jobs, all showing efficacy of having an effective free trade zone in a global perspective. “FTZ in developing countries can drive growth in different sectors not only in oil and gas, attract increased foreign investment inflow, create employment, transfer skills and technology,” he said.
Also speaking at the Rivers Goldeen Jubilee Award in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the General Manager, Legal Services of INTELS, Amaopusenibo Mike Epelle, said the company remains fully committed to maximising, in a sustainable manner, the use of human resources, materials, equipment and services in its operations without compromising the company’s values, quality, health, safety and environmental standards. He said: “INTELS has been a trusted partner to major oil and gas producing companies in Nigeria and a monumental logistic partner to the NPA in the development of ports infrastructure and service in Nigeria. “In over 30 years, we have added substantial value to the Nigerian oil and gas service industry and the operators have found our services strategic to their operations. “In the maritime sector, INTELS’ operation as a port infrastructure developer and maritime service provider, reinvigorated and brought the needed momentum and life to Nigerian ports and the maritime industry with improved capacity to serve the nation. “These efforts by INTELS have in turn boosted earnings, and contributions by these sectors to the Nigerian economy, while generating the much-needed employment for Nigerians. “To achieve our vision of providing an integrated, efficient, reliable and cost effective logistics solution to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, we introduced an innovative “one-stop-shop oil service centre concept” designed to meet the growing specialised needs of oil producing companies in one location to provide an integrated, efficient, reliable and cost effective logistics solution to operators in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. “This innovative concept has enhanced service delivery and turnaround time for Oil and Gas industry projects and thus endeared INTELS to its partners,’’ he stated.