Abuja – The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated a 13-man committee to organise the 2013 Oil and Gas, Trade and Investment Forum.
The forum will hold from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26, at Onne Free Trade Zone, FTZ in Rivers.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja, said that government was targeting 60,000 jobs through Onne FTZ.
“We have over 30,000 people working in Onne as a result of the investment in the zone. We are targeting to double the number of job created,” he said.
According to him, government is concerned about attracting investment into the country, particularly in the oil and gas, where the country has a comparative advantage.
“If we attract more investment, it will create multiple opportunities for Nigerians in terms of job and wealth creation.
“As the oil and gas industry continues to play dominant role in the Nigerian economy, the free zone concept will be central and strategic to defining a sustainable transformation of the national economy.
“The Federal Government is more than ever before committed to the principle of the free zone concept.
Ortom noted that oil and gas had contributed significantly to the development of the economy over the years.
The concept of free zone, he added, was anchored on an effective framework of regulations and guidelines aimed at delivering the best dividends to both the investors and the host economy.
He observed that since inception of the Onne Oil and Gas free zone, it had made tremendous and sustained progress in foreign direct investment, revenue generation, technology transfer employment and wealth creation.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Chubuisi Onyebueke, said the committee intended to mobilise over 500 investors operating in the zone as well as investors from all over the world.
“We are targeting close to over 500 exhibitors from across the globe. We are expanding the available space for exhibition by about 30 per cent,’’ he said.
Onyebueke expressed confident that this year’s forum would be a “huge success’’. (NAN)