The Oil & Gas Free Zones Authority, OGFZA said on Monday it was anticipating more reforms and progress in the free zones operations.
It added that discussions opened at the weekend with the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, on areas of cooperation and collaboration.
The Managing director of OGFZA, Okon Umana, said during a visit to his counterpart in the NPA, Hadiza Usman, at the NPA head office on the marina, Lagos that there was a need for the two agencies to forge closer ties on a range of issues.
Apart from the series of reforms and progress in the free zones recorded since he took over as chief executive officer in September 2016, Mr. Uman said the two agencies could have a strategic engagement that would see them use land in the ports where oil and gas free zones are located for strategic cooperation.
“I believe more will be achieved with greater support and cooperation of the NPA,” Mr. Umana said.
He proposed a partnership, in which the NPA would cede land to OGFZA in the nation’s seaports hosting oil and gas free zones to free up access to land for investors in the form of subleases.
The proposed partnership, he said, should be formalised with a memorandum of Understanding, MOU, to be administered by OGFZA as leaseholds in collaboration with the NPA.
He underscored the significance of the collaboration between OGFZA and the NPA on land use and other policy.
He said this would have a positive impact on the ease of doing business in the free zones in line with the policy thrust of the Federal Government.
On her part, the NPA managing director, Mrs. Usman commended the managing director of OGFZA on his efforts to sanitise the free zones by insisting that all licensees complied with extant laws and regulations.
She pledged unflinching support to OGFZA in the bid to realise the full objectives and potential of the oil and gas free zones.
She expressed full support for Mr. Umana’s position that OGFZA and NPA needed to strengthen their collaboration to ensure that a level playing field was provided for all licensees and concessionaires.
Mrs. Usman pledged to direct port managers in the nation’s seaports to work more closely with OGFZA, promising to renew and existing investors in the free zones with regard to approval for facility upgrade and other material need.
The NPA MD also said the Notore Channel would be dredged to boost economic activities in Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone.
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