Nigeria’s free zone incentives thrill global investment conference

 

A presentation by the managing director of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Mr Umana Okon Umana, at the ongoing “Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit” in Washington, DC, USA, has stimulated strong interest in the incentives offered to investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas free zones.

Speaking as a member of the summit’s discussion panel on “Investing in Africa,” Umana informed the conference that investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas free zones enjoy by law freedom from all forms of taxation, the right to repatriate their profit, dividends and capital, in addition to a host of other incentives.

Umana Okon Umana, MD OGFZA (1st right) and others during a panel discussion at the Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit in Washington, DC, USA on Tuesday

Another member of the three-man panel, Kenneth Allen, an American who is the founder and managing director of Azurest Partners, USA, said of the incentive regime in Nigeria’s oil and gas free zones: “What Nigeria has done is extremely helpful.”

Allen and his co-panelist, Andrew Darfoor, group chief executive officer, Alexander Forbes Group Holdings of South Africa, repeatedly referred to the bouquet of incentives offered to investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas free zones, and said they represent the kind of policy direction needed to create the right business environment and attract investment capital to Africa in the face of global competition for FDI.

One of the sub-themes the panel discussed was “Opportunities, return on foreign investment in Africa, and cross border partnerships.” Addressing the issue, Umana, CEO of OGFZA, said, “The story of Africa is changing,” emphasizing that it was crucial to get the international community to see and buy into the change that has made Africa the new frontier for international investment.

We are building strong institutions, and ensuring more coherence in policy execution by government agencies, Umana said, emphasizing the crucial role of government in bringing about and cementing change in different African countries.

The panel discussion also examined the question of availability of reliable data to support strategic investment decisions, and trends in investment policies and trade laws.

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