The Senate, yesterday, passed a bill to establish a new Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority which is empowered to approve tax holidays for operators in the country.
The Senate also approved that the appointment of the board chairman must reflect federal character as provided in the 1999 Constitution.
Titled “Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority Act Cap 05, LFN 2011 (Amendment) Bill 2015,” it also states that the appointment of the chairman and members of the board must now be subject to senate confirmation.
While presenting the report, the chairman of the Joint Senate Committee on Trade and Establishment and Public Service, Odion Ugbesia, said the most attractive feature of a free trade zone anywhere in the world is the tax holiday “which investors enjoy as incentive and encouragement for investment and this amendment provides just that.
“The objectives of this new amendment are as follows: (a) socio-economic development of the immediate community where the free zones and sub-zones are located; (b) contributing to the growth of the country’s gross domestic product; (c) domestication of business activities in the oil and gas sector and (d) employment generation or job creation.
“The tax holiday for the operators is in line with best global practices. Nigeria should be no exemption,” Ugbesia said.