THE Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) has commended the Akwa Ibom State government on the efforts to build and secure a licence for the proposed Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone in Ikot Abasi.
Reviewing progress of work on the proposed free zone after receiving a briefing from the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone Joint Implementation Committee at the end of a review meeting in Uyo, managing director of OGFZA, Mr Umana Okon Umana, said he was impressed at the pace and level of mobilisation and promotion by the state government to attract investors to the project.
At the review meeting, chairman of the implementation committee, Mr Gabriel Ukpeh, who is also the special adviser to Akwa Ibom State governor on foreign direct investment, gave timelines for meeting key paperwork requirements on the project as well as insight into important engineering and technical works concluded and scheduled to be done.
Ukpe reported that a preliminary aerial survey and a temporary access road to the 50,000-hectare site for the proposed free zone have been completed. He explained that the dredging of the sea that will serve the shipping needs of the project is awaiting full consultation with the host communities across Akwa Ibom and the neighbouring states since the impact of dredging cuts across state boundaries.
The committee chairman announced May, 02, 2017 as deadline for concluding all documentations required for the licensing of the free zone. Site inspection of the proposed free zone area by OGFZA, the licensing authority, is scheduled for the third week of April, 2017.
A member of the committee, Engr. Ufot Ebong, who is the special adviser to the state governor on technical matters, said the number of international investors that have indicated interest to bring investments into the Liberty Free Zone was large, including Exxonmobil, who he added, has made a request for a dedicated terminal in the proposed free zone.