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Direct Foreign Investment: FG showcases Onne oil and gas Free Trade Zone

By on October 6, 2012

Nigeria is blessed with abundant oil and gas reserve which has not been fully utilized along with its value chain process that would generate the required growth, create wealth and employment in the country.

If the effort of the present administration, which recently kick-started local content policy that will enable capacity development of its citizenry as well as the effort to provide an enabling environment for investors to participate in the energy sector, the required development might not take too long to be realised.

Nigerian Content is viewed as the quantum of composite value added created in the Nigerian economy through the utilization of Nigerian human and material resources for the provision of goods and services to the petroleum industry within acceptable quality, health, safety and environmental standards in order to stimulate the development of indigenous capabilities.

During a recent visit to the Onne Free Trade Zone, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, disclosed that private investors had invested $4.8b in the Onne Free Trade Zone and had created about 30, 000 jobs. He said that the Federal Government was committed to providing the enabling environment for local and foreign investors to invest in the country.

“Private investors have invested about $4.8bn in Onne Free Trade Zone and in the process created about 30, 000 jobs. To date, Onne has generated revenues of about $5.4billion for the government. We are committed to providing the enabling environment for local and foreign investors to invest in Nigeria. This will enable us create additional jobs, generate wealth and transform our economy,” he said.

He therefore called on serious investors to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the Zone, noting that the zone is expected to play an important future role in meeting the needs of domestic and foreign firms in the oil and gas sector.

He noted that the incentives available to investors in the zone include: 100 per cent Import and Export Tax Exemption; 100 per cent Exemption from Commercial Levies, 100 per cent Repatriation of Capital and Profits, 100 per cent Foreign Company Ownership, availability of Leases from five to 21 years, no quotas for Expatriate Employees, no Corporate Taxes, no V.A.T., and no With–Holding taxes and levies.

Some of the incentives that investors would benefit also include Customs privileges for goods consigned to the Zone, including Goods in Transit to other West African Territories; no pre-shipment inspection on goods that are not consigned to Nigeria, Duty Free Stock on Equipment, Spare Parts, Pipes, no double handling in and out of Nigeria, and access to major projects On-shore, Off-shore and Regionally.

Investors in the zone are also guaranteed of cost efficient operations, sophisticated Oil service centre support, easy clearing process, duty free status for imports, Sea – Air logistics, faster services, minimal bureaucracy and easy registration

In pursuance of the development of the oil sector to stimulate trade and export activities as well as to attract Direct Foreign Investment (DFI), Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone was established in 1997 to focus exclusively on the oil and gas industry. It is located in the heart of the Gulf of Guinea region and close to Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas at Bonny Island but within easy reach of offshore developments.

The free trade zone is prided to be the largest growing oil and gas transit supply base in the world today with opportunities for manufacturing and downstream industries such as gas plant, methanol plants, petrochemical and refineries. With the development of the Zone, the West African sub region is expected to see a phase of unprecedented growth over the next few years fuelled by developments in the energy sector.

Already the zone can boast of a hundred and twelve (112) reputable companies. For instance, companies like AGIP, ELF, SHELL, TEXACO, and EXXONMOBIL have taken the advantage of their strategic locations and the Free Zone incentives at Onne to move equipment and spares between the Zone and their production locations within Nigeria and also Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa Angola, Ivory Coast.

Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone is being managed by D.M.S. (Nigeria) Limited and is the only Free Zone in the world that is dedicated solely for oil and gas.


Source: Daily Independent