By Prince Okafor
AWARITSE Nigeria Limited (ANL), said that its acquisition of new Oil and Gas Free Zone (OGFZ) in Delta State would attract over $100 million in foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the first phase.
The Managing Director, OGFZA, Mr Umana Okon, along with his team were taken on a facility tour of the proposed free trade zone located in Okitigbo in Warri North of Delta State, by the acting Managing Director of ANL, Mr Emmanuel Ebosa. Among facilities inspected during the tour were, a jetty, a tank farm, a fabrication yard where a barge was under construction, a site for a modular refinery and security infrastructure.
According to the secretary and legal adviser to the board of ANL, Mr. Desmond Dudu, “Based on discussions with prospective foreign investors who are only waiting for the zone to be licensed before they come in, the project would attract more than $100 million in foreign direct investments in the first instance.”
The secretary in his presentation to the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) team, also said that on completion, the free zone is expected to generate 2,170 direct and indirect jobs. “The proposed free zone sits on a land area of 87, 044 hectares with a plan to increase it by another 80, 000 hectares,” Dudu said.
Also speaking, Umana, said that he is impressed with the level of physical development of the proposed free trade hub and the readiness of ANL to acquire an oil and gas free zone status for it. He also told ANL that they would have to comply with a set of requirements from OGFZA, after which a recommendation would be forwarded to the President to grant the facility a licence to operate as an oil and gas free trade zone. In his words, “The proposed free zone is into both upstream and downstream activities in the oil and gas sector.”
The OGFZA MD commended the management of ANL for keying into the drive by the Federal Government for foreign direct investments. He explained that the project was a 100 per cent Nigerian initiative, and expressed the hope that the Koko Port, which is near the project site, would be integrated into it in the future.