Dogara backs amendment of OGFZA Law
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has thrown his weight behind efforts by the National Assembly to amend the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) Act of 1996.
In his opening remarks in Abuja at the public hearing on the Bill to amend the OGFZA law, organised by the House Committee on Commerce, Dogara said he was convinced that deliberations at the hearing would lead to appropriate review and correction of any ambiguities that may exist in the Act.
Dogara, represented by the Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Pali Iriase, said such amendment would “empower the agency to focus its resources on developing and promoting tailored investment packages and incentives for oil and gas free trade zones to further promote the diversification policy of the Federal Government.”
Giving reasons why the Act should be amended, Dogara explained that since the law was enacted in 1996, much has changed in the global marketplace that has made it outdated; hence the need to bring it up to date with current realities.
He noted that Nigeria pioneered oil and gas free zones as a means of accelerating economic development, saying it was a thing of pride that even developed countries, such as Russia and the United States, felt the need to borrow from Nigeria’s success in oil and gas free zones development, which has attracted more than 170 foreign companies, generating over N162 billion in revenues for the Federal Government.
In a welcome address, Chairman of the Committee, Sylvester Ogbaga, stressed the importance of the oil and gas free zones.
In their presentations, Managing Director of OGFZA, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, and his Nigeria Exporting Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) counterpart, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, said their submissions for the hearing had earlier been transmitted to the supervising ministry, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, which would harmonise both submissions and forward a common position of the ministry to the Committee.