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The Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Mr. Umana Okon Umana has called on the federal government to support the authority in repositioning the oil and gas free zones in its development efforts to diversify the economy.
Umana made this call in a paper titled; ‘Oil & Gas Free Zones As Catalyst To Economic Diversification; which he delivered at the just concluded All Nigerian Maritime Journalists’ Retreat organized in Lagos by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON).
He said the call became pertinent because OGFZs had the potential of stimulating growth and general economic activities.
Umana, ably represented by the Head of Trade and Investment Department of the Authority, Adamu Mamman Kontangora, opined that Oil and Gas Free Zones were very fundamental key for economic growth, diversification and development.
He said “I wish to suggest that the present administration should support the Authority in repositioning of the oil and gas free zones in its development efforts to diversify the economy. This is so because OGFZs have the potential of stimulating growth and the general economic activities.
“Evidences are available to show that all OGFZs under OGFZA are successful and successful free trade zone development has the ability to completely change the economy and lifestyle of local communities. We have seen such in countries like UAE, Malaysia, Asia, India etc”.
While revealing that oil and gas had made enormous contributions to the national economy as it had accounted for 90% of its total export and 80% of government revenue, Umana called for more dedicated specialized avenues be created to encourage skill, transfer of technology, local content participation, enhance foreign exchange earnings and backward integration to the local economy. All these components are maximizing and diversifying the economy through the OGFZs activities.