Port Harcourt — Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, OGFZA, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, says the agency’s progress between 2016 and 2019 is that of a focused corporate vision and painstaking teamwork, to achieve set goals.
Umana spoke recently at an oil and gas webinar featuring top-brand speakers that included Professor Pat Utomi, Rev. Fr. Edward Obi and Willem Veermer of the Netherlands.
At the webinar, which looked at OGFZA as a case study, Umana highlighted OGFZA’s formula to transparency and efficiency in the last three years.
The OGFZA boss explained that when he arrived at OGFZA his team set standards for operations, work ethics, inter-agency collaboration and enforced them so consistently that the results were soon apparent.
He said this led the Federal Government, through the Presidential Enabling Environment Business Council, PEBEC, to adjudged OGFZA as number one among 44 federal MDAs in transparency and efficiency, two core values promoted in the business environment by the Executive Order 001 of 2017.
Also speaking, Political Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, emphasised on manufacturing as the major economic activities to position the free zones, as the launchpad for national economic revival.
Utomi apeaking on “Repositioning the Oil and Gas Free Zones for Global Competitiveness” said specialization would assist the free zones to attain global competitiveness.
Also, the Coordinator, National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta, Rev. Fr. Edward Obi, stressed the need for the protection of the environment in oil and gas operations, as insurance for sustainable development.
For his part, an International Marketing Expert, Willem Veermer, said Nigeria has underperformed her peers in economic development and called for more investment in human capital development as well a strong focus on a set of right policies that is faithfully executed to drive development.
Also, a member of the House of Representatives, Rimande Kwewum, said it was time to change the negative narrative on the nation’s development to that of progress in security, infrastructure development, education and job creation.
The seminar commended OGFZA on its successes in the last few years.