Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi
President Goodluck has hailed investors confidence in the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone (FTZ), at the Onne Port Complex, Rivers State.
Jonathan, who was represented at the forum by the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, expressed confidence in the ingenuity and capability of investors at the Oil and Gas FTZ in Onne Port Complex Onne, Rivers State.
He maintained that there was urgent need to make more investors know the investment opportunities that are available in the FTZ.
He lauded the organisers of the 2012 Forum, which had it theme as ‘Harnessing Investment Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Sectors. The Role of the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone in the Transformation Agenda’.
He explained that that the theme was in line with his administration’s vision (20: 2020), Nigeria being one of the 20 nations with the best economy by year 2020.
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, in his remarks at the forum affirmed that as far back as the 1990s, Nigerian Ports Authority realised the need to improve the Onne Port to accommodate the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT), which have now become the nucleus of oil and gas business in Africa.
Umar commended the Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, for what he described as his zeal and drive in providing necessary platform for investors at the FTZ.
Aganga had earlier in his welcome address described the Onne Oil and Gas FTZ as the number one investment destination in Africa and 25th globally. He added that the value of investment currently at the zone is $6 billion, with over 150 investors operating within the Zone.
He asserted that all over the world trade zones are catalyst for industrial development. According to him, it is also good for foreign direct investment (FDI). At the free trade zone, every job creates two additional jobs.
The Minister hailed the strides of the managements of Onne FTZ, NPA and all other stakeholders who have contributed to the success of the zone.
Managing Director, NPA, Mallam Habib Abudullahi, in his remarks at the forum said the ports reforms was one of the best policies of Federal Government.
Abudullahi, represented at the forum by NPA Executive Director Marine and Operations, Mr. David Omonibeke, opined that the port reforms have brought a lot of benefits and opportunities that people have been envisaging in the maritime sector.
According to him, initially the port reform was resisted by stakeholders, due to the fact that changes are always difficult to adapt to. However the changes turned out at last to be profitable to all sundry. The organisation is environment-friendly and maintains a peaceful and harmonious co-existence with its host communities and its related agencies.
He argued that the ports are now better off in terms of service delivery enhanced in line with value of operations. He urged all concessionaries to maintain improved service delivery in the ports in line with their contractual agreement.
He said that the reforms has ushered in high level of productivity at the ports and improved service delivery in compliance with international standards and best practices.
Among dignitaries present at the Forum were the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, NPA General Manager Eastern Ports, Mr. Sotonye Etomi, and the Chairman Orleans Investment West Africa, Mr. Gabriele Volpi.