26 November 2016, Abuja — Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, OGFZA, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has said the nation’s oil and gas free zones will serve as Nigeria’s first ports of call for foreign direct investments, since the agency had mouth-watering incentives and benefits to investors who set up businesses there.
Umana, who disclosed this during a visit to Malaysian High Commission in Abuja, said the benefits for investors include zero tax from federal, state and local tax authorities; zero levies and rates (that is no corporate tax, withholding tax, value added tax and capital gain tax); 100% foreign ownership and 100% repatriation of profit and dividends.
According to him, the benefits also include 100% repatriation of foreign capital investments and streamlined documentation that makes for fast-tracking of all business transactions.
Umana explained to High Commissioner, Lim Juay Jim, that there were functioning and vibrant oil and gas free zones at Onne, Rivers State; Warri in Delta State and Apapa in Lagos, adding that OGFZA was developing additional oil and gas free zones in Brass, Bayelsa State; Ikpokiri, which is contiguous with Onne in Rivers State and Ibaka in Akwa Ibom State.
He told the High Commissioner that the new oil and gas free zones being developed in Brass, Ibaka and Ikpokiri, including the developed ones at Onne, Warri and Lagos, presented viable and irresistible opportunities for investors to take advantage of and become part of the profitable history of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
He said there were opportunities for the development of infrastructures such as roads and power plants, to provide dedicated electric power for the oil and gas free trade hubs.
Umana also explained that attractive opportunities for downstream industries as refineries, manufacturing of pipes for the oil and gas sector and other related industrial goods as well as infrastructure existed for investors in the free zones.
He said the oil and gas Authority was willing to partner any investor using the public-private partnership, PPP, model to achieve its mandate and business plan, adding that the success recorded at the Onne free zone derived from the PPP business model.
In his response, the High Commissioner expressed joy at the visit and presentation made by the chief executive of the OGFZA, promising to visit the OGFZA headquarters with a delegation of Malaysian investors to explore investment opportunities in keeping with the strong historical and economic ties between Nigeria and Malaysia.
*Soni Daniel – Vanguard