• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Onne oil and gas free zone attracts $8bn investments

President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned the 4th phase of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone (OGFTZ), near Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which has attracted $8 billion investments over the years through 170 companies operating there now.

The president, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, also flagged off construction of phase 4B worth almost $3 billion to be executed by Deep Offshore Services Limited, expected to up job opportunities from 35,000 to 50,000 direct slots.

The commissioned phase 4A was built by Integrated Logistics Limited (Intels), which acquired the right to operate the Onne Port in 1980 as Nigeria’s first concession experiment. The commissioning was witnessed by Idris Umar, transport minister, his trade and investment counterpart, Olusegun Aganga, the board of trustees’ chairman of the ruling PDP, Tony Anenih, and top Federal Government functionaries and company executives.

The president said the successful execution of the multi-million dollar project would help push Onne to a world class seaport and industrial zone, saying it was a huge plus for the transformation agenda of his administration.

He said the administration is determined to change the lives of the Niger Delta people, and called on genuine investors to key into the Onne story and add value to the huge investments in the project.

Describing the project as a direct result of seamless collaboration between the present administration, the Ministry of Transport and the stakeholders, Jonathan hailed the status of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone as the fastest and biggest in the world. He commended Intels for beating the deadline by many months and urged Deep Offshore which has six years to also beat the deadline to brace up.

Giving details of the project, Mathew Volpi, the managing director of Orleans Invest, speaking for Intels, said the attraction of 170 companies into Onne was a huge vote of confidence in Nigeria’s economy and the ability of the government to drive the oil and gas industry.

Volpi said the fast growth of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry required expanded port infrastructure, adding that the success of the phase 4A was evidence of the ability and capability of Intels.