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The Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Umana Okon Umana, has said the agency is now on a good stead to attract 5 per cent investment flow into Nigeria within the next three years.

Umana said this is possible if there is a faithful implementation of the Executive Orders on Ease of Doing Business by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the OGFZA had already attracted over $20 billion investments to Nigeria with 200 companies fully engaged and direct job totaling 100,000 created.

He said the agency is full set to do more.

He described the Executive Orders as a cutting-edge approach to attracting more direct foreign investments to Nigeria.

He noted that this has helped the agency to increase its revenue flow in the past few months.

He made this known during an Enabling Business Environment Retreat organised by the Secretariat Of The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council and hosted by OGZFA at the weekend at the Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne, Rivers State.

Umana said with the Executive Orders, OGFZA has launched result-oriented initiatives towards attracting and sustaining more investments in the Oil and Gas Free Zones of Nigeria.

He said OGFZA has set machinery in motion for ensuring a reduction in cargo handling charges and other tariffs applicable in the free zones in line with the principle of ease of business launched by the government.

The agency, he added, has also started moves towards suspending all illegal charges that have, before now, been discouraging investments in the Nigeria’s oil and gas free zones.

According to Umana, OGFZA has also deemed it necessary to offer incentives to investors by lowering tariffs

To ease off operations in the free zones, OGFZA, said Umana, has also been in synergy with a private investor to build a power plant to supply electricity within eight months just to reduce spending on power in the free zones.

He added: “OGFZA has commenced discussions with terminal operators on reduction of cargo handling in the oil and gas zones, while also engaging a private investor for supply of power to Onne zone within the next eight months to reduce costs.”

Umana, however, listed the challenges confronting the oil and gas free zones in Nigeria to include lack of rail links for bulk movement of cargoes at economic rate, poor access roads, weak legal framework leading to inter-agency conflicts, inadequate funding and security problems such as piracy.

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