Port Harcourt — Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno, has lauded the Federal Government for providing incentives for the realisation of the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone, OGFZ, in Ikot Abasi, a free zone with an investment commitment of $6.4 billion.
Governor Eno particularly commended President Bola Tinubu for keying into the vision for the development of Liberty OGFZ even when the license for the operation of the oil and gas free zone was awarded by the previous administration.
The governor spoke when the Special Adviser to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. John Ugochukwu Uwajumogu, together with the management of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Uyo, the state capital.
Eno also sought the support of OGFZA to fast-track development in the state by getting a Free Trade Zone licence for the Victor Attah International Airport in order to assist the cargo and airplanes in their services, thereby fast-tracking development in the state as well as generating foreign exchange for the country.
He further assured of the readiness of his administration to partner with OGFZA to work out modalities for the smooth take-off of the oil and gas free zone.
He said: “We must commend President Tinubu for providing incentives for the realization of Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone in our state. Mr. President’s unbiased approach for leadership indicates that development can be achieved irrespective of party differences.
“The license for the operation of Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone was awarded by the APC led- government and I must commend this delegation for keying into the vision of the federal government for development to thrive and enable the people to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
“We must also thank OGFZA for the initiative of establishing an office in Liberty OGFZ. That alone will enhance the attraction of more companies and investors to the zone; there is also a need for further engagements in order to have seamless working modalities for the smooth take-off of the free zone.
“On our part we have launched a 5–pillar agenda “the Arise Agenda” used as a blueprint to consolidate on the past administration to drive development into the hinterland in order for the rural people to have access to basic amenities such as good roads, electricity, pipe borne water and health care facilities.”
Managing Director of OGFZA, Sen. Tijjani Kaura, said the ongoing investments at Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone was not less than $500 million and a projected $6 billion in the next six years, as over a thousand employment opportunities have been generated in the state.
Reiterating the Authority’s commitment to support the state government, Kaura called for strengthening of the joint committee earlier constituted to resolve all land related disputes for the speedy take-off of the free zone project.
Earlier, Special Adviser to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Uwajumogu, said his visit to Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone revealed a huge investment and rapid development going on in the free zone.
Uwajumogu expressed the readiness of the Federal government to collaborate to make Akwa Ibom an investment haven.