Executive Chat with LADOL Helmsperson Dr. Amy Jadesimi

www.shores2shores.com holds an executive chat with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) Dr. Amy Jadesimi at the Corporate Headquarters in Lagos. Below are excerpts of the chat.



Recently Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement?  What (effect) do you think the signing of the AfCFTA will have on LADOL?

The impact of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement could be substantial You know the maritime industry could be a trillion dollar industry: a lot of  that money we need to make sure that that industry is being fed from Africa.

In other words that the things that the maritime industries are carrying, from the ships on the water to repairing the ships, building the ships, to all of the trade facilitation that’s done  through the maritime sector is indigenous.

Where LADOL plays a role in that is at a company that is 100 percent indigenous-Nigeria, since our inception in 2001 we have been focused effectively, increasing the level of Local content.

We believe it’s possible, we've proven it’s possible to privately develop a terminal to attract local private Investment of almost $500 million dollars to do that development.

On the back of that we are now the hub for heavy-lift operations for the whole of West Africa. We have the highest lifting capacity in whole of Africa at LADOL.

We have the only fully integrated deep offshore logistics base at LADOL. And the IOC's have already confirmed that their using LADOL halves their cost for logistics support; and we are able to produce that level of value addition because of our high level of indigenization; because we are doing our Investments ahead of time; because we are using Nigerian staff and we are able to do things locally a 100 per cent  than before we were doing abroad.

Now what the African Continental Free Trade Agreement does is open up the market beyond West Africa to the whole of Africa.

So now we have a situation where goods (for) example manufactured in free zones like LADOL can now be shipped to South Africa, could be shipped to Kenya. As private indigenous, indigenous private investors and foreign investors, we can be sure that the Nigerian market is big enough to incentivize their making Investments for manufacturing and capacity development in Nigeria.

But we now have the huge upside through this agreement of being able to sell those products and services across the whole continent.

What’s the key here? The key here is indigenization. We have to make sure that we Nigerians have an environment that encourages Nigerian private sector to invest, that enables Nigeria private sector to invest to create those facilities, to create those business as we have done in LADOL.

I think that question leads us swiftly to the Ease of Doing Business. That policy has it been working for LADOL?

I think that this government has introduced an era during which private sectors  is given space to grow particularly the indigenous private sector.

And the reason I always focus on indigenous private sector is that in every country in the world that is developed it’s always been the local investors.

Sometimes it’s government, sometimes it’s private sector, sometimes it’s both. But it is about that local Investment that creates the business environment that leads to large scale economic growth.

No foreigner is going to come here and build our ports and then leave enough value for us to benefit from that. Even if a foreigner comes here and makes that kind of investment obviously they will structure it in such a way that the Investment goes primarily to them. Which I don’t have a problem with because they have their own shareholders level to think about.

So the Ease of Doing Business I think has been very important in outlawing monopolies, creating a level playing field and allowing indigenous Nigeria private companies to participate and add value to our economy.

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