OGFZA gets land from Bayelsa State for free zone business
The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) got a major boost in a bid to fulfill its core mandate and play a key role in the Federal Government drive for foreign direct investments (FDI) when the Bayelsa State government announced last week that it has handed over to OGFZA state lands measuring 35,000 hectares for the development of the Brass Oil and Gas City. Land for the siting of factories and offices is a key attraction to FDI in the free zones.
The surveyor-general of the state, Gede Moses, said a portion of the 35,000-hectare land has been surveyed and is ready for deployment.
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson declared that OGFZA was free to deploy those land resources the way it deems fit to accelerate the development of free zones in the state. Dickson was responding to a request for support from the managing director of OGFZA, Mr Umana Okon Umana, who was in government house, Yenegoa to pay a courtesy call on the state governor.
During the visit, Umana had asked Governor Dickson to support “OGFZA to execute its mandate of attracting investments to the free zones with allocation of land to the authority, backed with a certificate of occupancy” as a way of giving the investment agency “the capacity to effectively partner investors.”
Umana praised the Bayelsa State government for its enduring support to OGFZA over the years and described the relationship between the state and the agency as that of “natural partners in the development of the (South-South) region and our dear country in general.” He also commended the governor’s commitment to the development of Bayelsa State.
He said the Brass Oil and Gas City, to which $3.5 billion has been committed, was a major effort to improve the quality of lives of Nigerians and accelerate development of the South-South region. Noting that the world has come to realize the place of free zones as engines of growth and development that have generated more than 42 million jobs in about 4,000 free zones globally, Umana called for “the abiding support of the Bayelsa State Government for OGFZA in its mandate as free zones regulator to inspire and sustain continuing confidence of the investment community.”
Dickson pledged his administration’s support for the projects but expressed concern that important aspects of the projects such as access road to Brass Oil and Gas City was beyond the capacity of the state government and needed federal intervention.