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The Managing Director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL), Dr. Amy Jadesimi, has revealed that the industry across West Africa is worth over $200bn, but has been hobbled by low investments in recent times due to lack of a level playing field among operators.
According to her, “It is a massive industry. We have to remember that most countries in West Africa are discovering oil. But Nigeria still has higher oil and gas reserves than any other country in the region. So, if you are looking at the country that is going to spend the most for logistics, it is Nigeria”.
“We can find significant cost savings if people patronise new facilities in Lagos and in other places. We have to encourage long-term private sector Nigerian investment so that we can make Nigeria an attractive investment destination. LADOL is making Nigeria an attractive investment destination, and that is very important at a time like this when people are choosing destinations in the world or in Africa to invest in.
“If you are looking at the country, therefore, that has the most to gain by being the hub and by domesticating all of its logistics-related activities in the country, it is also Nigeria. And finally, if you are looking at the country that cannot afford to continue to squeeze the market — keep the market small; that cannot afford to have foreign-controlled monopoly dominating the market and pushing indigenous players to one side, then that is also Nigeria.”
While calling for lower the costs of operations and increase competition in the market, she said LADOL, which had been investing for 15 years and operational for 10 years, is yet to break even because of the continuous investment plan of the group.
She disclosed that LADOL has put in well over $500m n the free zone so far, noting that since the passing of the Local Content Act in 2010, there had been an estimated $2bn to $4bn of investments by Nigerians building new capacity.
In her further submission, the sector is in need of about $10bn of investments in the next few years. For the first time, we are seeing Nigerians being able to participate and add value to this important sector.
Continuing, Jadesimi said “We need to collaborate as Nigerians because we have a mountain to climb. We are focused right now on collaboration for LADOL to really be successful; to achieve our mission of making Nigeria the West Africa’s hub, there needs to be more LADOLs across Nigeria.
“We have to build more capacity so that when a client has a project and wants to build 50,000 tonnes, we have enough capacity within Nigeria to do that. What we need the government to do is to enforce the laws that we already have which guarantee a level playing field for investors.”
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