The Managing Director & CEO of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, OGFZA, Umana Okon Umana, said that Nigeria is business ready and the OGFZA is a channel for conveying the nation’s growth opportunities.
Mr Umana made the statement during an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme at the sideline of the 2018 Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) in Washington DC.
Mr Umana said: “Nigeria is business ready and our oil and gas free zones are conduits of economic prosperity. Nigeria is the largest producer of oil and gas in Africa and the 6th largest in the world.
“The real growth of its oil sector as at Q1. 2018 was 14.77% year on year. In addition, we are the largest economy in Africa, the only country in Africa with dedicated oil and gas free trade zones and we are open for business.
“The country is on a growth trajectory with a GDP growth of 1.95% y-o-y (as at Q1, 2018); and a projected growth rate of 4.8% for the year 2018. The Federal, State and Local Governments are committed to maintaining this growth trend.
“The Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan [ERGP] is the encapsulation of this commitment; and since its implementation, Nigeria has moved 24 points up in the ease of doing business ranking according to the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index for 2018.
“With a population of more than 185 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa (one in every six Africans is a Nigerian) – Nigeria is a large consumer market and it is the seventh most populous country in the world and 75% of the population is under the age of 30 (with 70% being 15+) – we have a vibrant labour force. Nigeria’s long coastline reduces the cost of logistics, is fuel efficient and environmentally friendly,” he said.
The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority is the Apex Regulatory Authority established by Act No. 8 (section 51) of 29th March 1996 to regulate and manage Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Free Zones in Nigeria