The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the $200m investment was in addition to about $4bn capital investment recorded, so far, by the OGFZ, adding that the development was a positive development for the Nigerian economy in the face of global economic challenges.
He spoke during the second edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Investment Forum, in Onne, Rivers State with the theme, “Investment Opportunities in the Upstream and Downstream Sectors of the Oil and Gas Industry.”
He said, “The Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone has done very well, with additional investment of $200m added, in 2013, to the $4billion capital investment reported so far.
“This is indeed a remarkable progress when considered in the light of a weak global economy and the cut-throat competition, even among emerging and advanced economies for the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment.”
The Minister said that, owing to the tremendous success the country had recorded through its Free Zone policy, more local and foreign investors had renewed their interests in investing in the Free Zones.
“The success of our Free Trade Zone Policy has invariably increased the demand of the sub-national level of government for a replication of Free Zones in other parts of the country, while an avalanche of applications for setting up business enterprises in the various Free Trade Zones keep pouring in from prospective investors,” Aganga noted.
The minister said Nigeria was occupying a strategic position in Africa, and globally, due to its abundant human and raw materials base, in addition to its hugely untapped investment opportunities .
However, he stressed that in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, anchored on inclusive economic growth and diversification through job creation and wealth generation, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was committed to partnering the private sector and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal and State Governments to provide a conducive environment for local and foreign investors to invest Nigeria.
Aganga said, “Nigeria is currently a high growth, high returns environment. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reports for 2011 and 2012 ranked Nigeria as Africa’s number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).