The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) has described its flagship Free Zone in Onne, Rivers State, as the toast of the global investing community and first port of call for those seeking opportunities for good return on investment in oil and gas related businesses.
The Acting Managing Director of OGFZA, Mr Adekunle Ajayi, made the remark at the weekend
According to Ajayi, there has been a surge in business activities in the zone since the end of the recession. For instance, he said that in the first six months of the year, many new companies were licensed to operate in the free zone, a tend he noted to be a freflection of a market economy driven by open access and free exit.
He noted that Notore Chemical Industries Plc which was licensed in December 2017 as the developer of the Notore Industrial City (NIC) in the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, has already secured commitments of a number of International Petrochemical Oil and Gas Logistics Support Companies for $5 billion worth of investments into the NIC, with the potential for creating 25,000 jobs in the next four years.
He further said that OGFZA has brokered discussions between Funde Energy Company Limited and Notore Industrial City, leading to agreements on investments worth $2.5 billion between Notore, China Railway and Funde Energy Limited.
Ajayi added that OGFZA, working with PriceWaterhouseCoopers as its investment consultants, is in discussion with 37 local and international investors in the Oil and Gas Sector to promote investments in the free zones in a range of areas, including industrial park development, tank farm, and crude oil marketing.
He explained that business activities picked up in the free zone in response to reforms initiated by OGFZA, as the free zone regulator, and a strong government commitment to repositioning the free zone to compete globally through investment in infrastructure.
On the issue of taxation as it affects Free Zone Enterprises (FZEs), the Acting Managing Director said all FZEs are legally exempted from all forms of local, state and federal taxes, but are obligated to remit the PAYE tax deductions from employee salaries to government.