WITHIN the last ten months, a whopping amount of $200m (N32bn) has been invested in the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zones.
When added to $4bn capital investment reported in 2012, the $200m investment brings the total investment so far made in the Onne oil and gas free zone to $4.2bn (N672bn)
The figures were given on Thursday by the Minister of industry, Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga during the opening ceremony of oil and gas trade and investment forum 2013 in Onne, Port-Harcourt.
The forum, which was organised by Orlean Invest West Africa Ltd in partnership with the federal government had as its theme “Investment opportunities in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.”
Aganga described the investment as a remarkable progress when considered from the standpoint of weak global economy and the huge competition among advanced economies.
The success of the policy on FTZ had increase the demand at the sub-national level of government for a replication of free zones in other parts of the country.
He said, “The Onne Oil and Gas Zone remains a pace setter, with additional investment of $200m added in 2013, to $4bn capital investments reported in 2012.
“This is indeed a remarkable progress when considered in the light of a weak global economy and the cutthroat competition, even among emerging and advanced economies for inflow foreign direct investment.
“The success of our FTZ policy, has invariably, increased the demand at the sub-national level of government for replication of free zones in other parts of the country, while an avalanche of applications for setting up business enterprises in the various FTZs keep pouring in from prospective investors.”
Aganga said the genuineness and sincerity of purpose of government to enthrone the private sector as the main driver of growth and development of the nation’s economy is not in doubt.