A Brief History of Free Zone Legislation in Nigeria
- 1992 Nigerian Export Processing Zone Decree promulgated, covering manufacturing industries at designated zones throughout Nigeria, i.e. Calabar
- 1996 Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Decree promulgated,covering oil and gas related activities only and based at the Onne/Ikpokiri area of Rivers State, Nigeria
- 2003 Oil and Gas Free Zone Regulations promulgated.
Other Related Legislation:
- 1990 Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) promulgated.
- 1996 Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree No 32 promulgated.
- 1998 Finance (Miscellaneous Taxation Provisions) Decree 18 promulgated.
What it all means:
- An Export Processing Zone (EPZ) may be situated anywhere in Nigeria. They are exclusively for manufacturing items for export, with a percentage allowed for importation into Nigeria – Calabar EPZ being a well known example. This is covered under the 1992 Nigerian Export Processing Zone Decree.
- The Oil and Gas Export Free Zone is located at Onne, Rivers State. It is exclusively for the use of Oil and Gas Companies and related Service Companies. Promulgated under Decree No 8, 1996.
- A Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Permit is mandatory for Nigerian registered service companies. This permit is required by all service companies before operating in the Oil and Gas sector.
- The Oil and Gas Export Free Zone is not an EPZ as it was formed under separate and different legislation. Therefore, the amendments of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) listed above, which have an impact on capital investment in an EPZ do not apply in the Oil and Gas Free Zone Onne.
Legislation Governing the Onne and Gas Free Zone
- Enabling Act
- Decree No 8. Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Decree 1996
- Government Notice No. 23
- Federal Government of Nigeria Official Gazette. No 12, Lagos-29th March, 1996. Vol.83
- Supporting Regulations (By-Laws)
- Oil and Gas Free Zone Regulations, 2003, issued by the Honourable Minister of Commerce, 10th December, 2003.