News hotlines: 08111813019, 08025868561
All is set for the takeover of all operators at any of the Oil and Gas Free Zones that have failed to register with the regulatory Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) before the end of next week.
The federal agency has given one month notice to affected companies since last month and the deadline will expire next week.
It was learnt that the agency was left with no other option since every diplomatic efforts had failed in encouraging unregistered oil and gas free zones operators to comply to its regulations failed.
According to OGFZA’s Head of Operation/Technical, Mr. Adekunle Ajayi, the government had written and visited Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SHIFZ), Lagos Deep Offshore Limited, Lagos, and other oil and gas free zones across the country on the matter.
He said the letter for the take-off of the operation was dated November 17, this year, adding that the deadline is 30 days from that date.
“Operators of Oil and Gas Free Zones can be said to have been operating unilaterally, when they refused to register as members with the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority. Such actions are contrary to the Article No 8 of the 1996 constitution that established the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA).
Ajayi said that the body, in line with section 5, sub-sections 2 of the 1996 Constitution and other extant laws operating in Nigeria, is empowered to regulate the oil and gas free zones.
“The Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority will not hesitate to apply sanctions in order to instill discipline in the sector. Nigeria has over 100 oil and gas free zones. While many of the zones are doing well, others are not. The body wants to ensure that the zones generate huge revenues for the government and also help in promoting the economy”.
Ajayi said oil and gas free zones, have generated N76billion yearly and created over 200,000 jobs, adding that the zones have a the multiplier effects of on the economy.
Also, OGFZA’s Head of Trade and Investment Department, Mr Adamu Kontagora, said the agency was not duplicating the roles of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPZA), adding that the two organisations perform different roles.
NEPZA regulates the non-oil sectors, while OGFZA supervises the oil and gas free zones.