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Akwa Ibom woos investors to $3b free trade zone

Akwa Ibom Liberty Free Trade Zone

To put the state on the map of preferred investment destinations, the Akwa Ibom State Government has called on investors from across the globe to take advantage of its 14,000 Ibom Industrial City Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

Located behind the 17-metre depth Ibom Deep Sea Port, which construction is expected to commence by March 2022, and would facilitate shipment and trade to other African countries.  

This was disclosed by the state Chairman, Technical Committee on Foreign Direct Investments, Gabriel Ukpeh, at the just-concluded, German-Nigerian Business Forum, which was held at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, according to a statement.  

Ukpeh spoke on the investment opportunities in the state as well as benefits for potential investors through its various initiatives.  

Already, he said Akwa Ibom State hosts the largest FTZ in Nigeria – the 50,000 hectares Liberty Free Trade Zone, which houses a $1.4billion ammonia plant as well as a methanol plant, refinery, petrochemical plant, fertilizer plant. “This offers incentives such as tax free haven for investors; import zero duties, free containers, among others.”

Apart from the ongoing restructuring of governance by Governor Udom Emmanuel, he noted that: “Akwa Ibom state stands out when compared to other States in Nigeria for obvious reasons: it has been affirmed by many Nigerians including the Nigerian Police Force, as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria, the security architecture is at par with those found elsewhere in the world.”

There are a lot of oil and gas for investors whether in the area of petrochemical plants, methanol plants, thermal power plants, gas processing and other possibilities.

While still recovering from the pangs of the global COVID-19 pandemic, he argued that Akwa Ibom State holds a promise for economic respite as well as being a catalyst for socio-economic transformation in the West African sub-region. “This is due to the economic renaissance that has recently characterized this Niger Delta region of Nigeria.”

Besides Aside the infrastructure architecture, Ukpeh also informed that Akwa Ibom has the largest oil and gas reserves in Nigeria. “There are a lot of oil and gas for investors whether in the area of petrochemical plants, methanol plants, thermal power plants, gas processing and other possibilities.”

The Forum, which is in its 9th edition, was organized by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria (AHK Nigeria), in collaboration with the Nigerian–German Chamber of Commerce (NGCC), and the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein), to explore opportunities between the two countries, while charting a way forward in a post-pandemic period.

The Forum was attended by participants from the public and private sectors, and featured keynote speeches, panel sessions, presentations, and product demonstrations.

Among them were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; German Ambassador to Nigeria, Birgitt Ory; Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe; Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Emeka Offor; Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, Folasade Adefisayo, and many others.

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