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Private sector operators stake $4.8bn on Onne FTZ

Published by Guardian on Thu, 20 Sep 2012

THE Ministry of Trade and Investment has put the total private sector investment in the Onne Free Trade Zone (FTZ) at $4.8 billion (N705.6 billion).The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, who made this disclosure during his visit to the facility in preparation to the forthcoming Oil and Gas Trade and Investment Forum 2012, added that over 30,000 jobs have so far been generated within the area.According to the minister, Onne has generated revenues of about $5.4 billion (N847.8 billion) for the government since inception. 'We are committed to providing the enabling environment for local and foreign investors to invest in Nigeria. This will enable us create additional jobs, create wealth and transform our economy', he added.He said that the forum was part of government's effort to increase investments in the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone in the country and to showcase the success story of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone to attract more investors both locally and internationally.The Chairman of the National Committee on Oil and Gas Investment Forum, David Adejuwon, Director of Trade, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment said that, the committee were in Onne to carried out on the spot assessment of facilities being put in place by the Orlean Invest West Africa limited and ensure that other necessary arrangement such as accommodation, security, venue, and protocols are firmed up to meet up with the international standards.Adejuwon commended the partnership arrangement between government and private sector, which he said, had yielded good result. 'We are here seven weeks ago and there was nothing on ground but now the place had been transformed by the Orlean Invest West Africa limited for the event which will be hosted annually,' he stressed.Meanwhile, the Chairman condemned the long queue of trucks at the Onne Free Trade Zone, which he said, was not in conformity with the Federal Government's policy of prompt service delivery to Nigerians.'Long queue of trucks at the port was not inline with international best practices on the movement of goods and services which Federal government had made concerted effort to eradicate in compliance with Trade Facilitation agreement '.'When we saw the long queue of trucks, we were curious and we want to know the cause of delay and what happen here to necessitate this after they had been checked at terminals and necessary fees paid and still they were being subjected to another process that stalks movement of goods'.He charged the officials to report to their headquarters the server problems andother constraints that made them not to perform optimally as the problem they are creating will add up to cost of goods which will be pass on to consumers.Adejuwon pointed out that the primary objective of the ministry was to ensure minimal delay in business transactions through efficient trade facilitation and cost-effective transport services, logistics and customs reforms that will make the environment investors friendly.The forthcoming event is an international event and Nigeria was expecting more than 300 participants all over the world to showcase their services and invest in Onne Oil & Gas Free Trade Zone.
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