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Another Free Zone coming to Delta to deepen oil & gas investments

The Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Umana Umana has said Nigeria is to license a new oil and gas free zone in Delta state.

The assurance came after he carried out an inspection tour of the proposed free zone located in Okitigbo in Warri North of Delta State.

While expressing happiness on the level of physical development at the proposed free trade hub, Umana commended that excitement, enthusiasm and demonstration of readiness by the promoters of the new free zone, Awaritse Nigeria Limited, to acquire an oil and gas free zone status for the state.

Explaining more on the specifications of the emerging free trade hub, Umana said the proposed free zone would be for both upstream and downstream oil and gas industry activities.

The project was a 100 per cent Nigerian initiative, expressed the hope the Koko Port, located near to the proposed site would be integrated into the zone in the near future.

Responding, the Secretary and legal adviser to Awaritse Nigeria board, Desmond Dudu, said the proposed free zone, which covers a land area of about 87,044 hectares, has space to accommodate a future expansion by another 80,000 hectares.

Already signals have shown that prospective foreign investors interested in coming to the zone, when licensed, is rising daily, meaning that the project would attract more than $100 million in foreign direct investments in the first instance.

When completed, he said the free zone would generate about 2,170 direct and indirect jobs to Nigerians.

Acting managing director of Awaritse Nigeria, Emmanuel Ebosa, who led the OGFZA management team on a facility tour of the proposed free zone, showed them round the jetty, tank farm, fabrication yard where a barge was under construction, site for a modular refinery and security infrastructure.

On delivery, the proposed free zone would be the fourth to be established by the new management at OGFZA since assumption of office late last year.

Whereas Onne is the biggest free zone in the country so far, Umana said apart from similar zones established Warri and Brass, the Authority was working on establishing three more in Ibaka, Ibeno and Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom state.

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