Free Trade Zone Policy keeps Nigeria’s Investment Profile High -AgangaNews Friday, October 25th, 2013
By Eric Ojo
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga has attributed Nigeria’s soaring investment profile to the windows of opportunities being offered by the country’s Free Trade Zone Policy.
The Minister noted that owing to the tremendous success the country had recorded through its Free Zone policy, more local and foreign investors had renewed their interests in investing in the Free Zones, adding that Nigeria is currently a high growth, high returns environment.
Speaking at the second edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Investment Forum, in Onne, Rivers State, Mr. Aganda added that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reports for 2011 and 2012 ranked Nigeria as Africa’s number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
He said Nigeria has also been ranked fourth globally in terms of average returns on investments at 35.5 per cent, which is higher than global average. This, according to him, is in response to the abundant investment opportunities that exist in our country.
“Over the years, we have been an import-dependent country. But there is now a paradigm shift, which has begun through the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan. The success of our Free Trade Zone Policy has invariably increased the demand of the sub-national level of government for a replication of Free Zones in other parts of the country, while an avalanche of applications for setting up business enterprises in the various Free Trade Zones keep pouring in from prospective investors”, he said
He further disclosed that the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone recorded additional investment of $200m in 2013, in addition to about $4bn capital investment recorded, so far, by the OGFZ, adding that the development was a positive development for the Nigerian economy in the face of global economic challenges.
“The Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone has done very well, with additional investment of $200m added, in 2013, to the $4billion capital investment reported so far. This is indeed a remarkable progress when considered in the light of a weak global economy and the cut-throat competition, even among emerging and advanced economies for the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment”, he added.
The minister said Nigeria was occupying a strategic position in Africa, and globally, due to its abundant human and raw materials base, in addition to its hugely untapped investment opportunities .
He, however, stressed that in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, anchored on inclusive economic growth and diversification through job creation and wealth generation, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was committed to partnering the private sector and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal and State Governments to provide a conducive environment for local and foreign investors to invest Nigeria.
In her presentation during the event, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Alison-Madueke, said Nigeria had a lot of investment opportunities in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the nation’s economy
She noted that Nigeria currently has a lot of investment opportunities, which according to her, exist in form of direct participation or partnership with International Oil Companies in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.
“There are on-going efforts aimed at domesticating the value chain in the oil and gas sector through setting up of petrochemical industrial parks, deepening the local content through participation of indigenous companies and provision of fiscal incentives to boost investment in the sector”, she further explained.
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