According to Vanguard, efforts by the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, OGFZA, to fulfill its core mandate and play a key role in the Federal Government’s drive for foreign direct investments, FDI, received a major boost, weekend, when the Bayelsa State Government announced that it has handed over to OGFZA state lands measuring 35,000 hectares for the development of the Brass Oil and Gas City.
The land for the location 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 had been surveyed and ready for deployment.
Bayelsa State governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, on his part, said OGFZA was free to deploy the land resources the way it deems fit to accelerate the development of free zones in the state.
Dickson sas responding to a request for support from the Managing Director of OGFZA, Mr Okon Umana, who was at Government House, Yenegoa on a courtesy call on the state governor.
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.”
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 that the Brass Oil and Gas City, to which $3.5 billion had 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 realise 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.
He congratulated Umana on his “Well-deserved appointment” and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for “making the right choice for the job of chief executive of OGFZA,” describing Umana’s visit to Government House, Yenegoa as “highly symbolic because Bayelsa is the cradle of the oil and gas economy in Nigeria.”