As part of its contribution to boost the maritime sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, the management of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) has concluded plans to establish a ship building facility in the country.
The move, which is meant to enhance the rapid growth and development in indigenous shipping business in the maritime sector in Nigeria, was informed by LADOL’s quest to meet the yearnings of Nigerian ship owners.
The Chairman of LADOL, a wholly indigenous firm geared towards the development and operation of the oil and gas, fabrication, engineering and logistics, Mr. Oladipo Jadesimi, made this known, when the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Temisanre Raymond Omatseye led his management team on a tour of the company facilities in Lagos.
Jadesimi stated that the company investments in standard offshore facility and free trade zone, would bring what he described as “long term economic benefits and huge employment generation to the country.
He noted that shipping is a lucrative business, pointing out that there is an urgent need for world class offshore facility capable of facilitating significant production, fabrication and storage operations in the country.
His words: "Our investment in offshore facility was prompted by the local content initiative, which is very important in maritime industry development. Our target market is the West of Nigeria. Angola for instance, is doing beyond expectation in fabrication and offshore operations, which has brought benefits to its economy in terms of technology transfer, foreign currency inflow and costs benefits analysis."
He stated that NIMASA's visit was of immense benefits and strategic importance since the agency is the major maritime body saddled with the responsibility of regulating activities in the maritime industry in the country.
"Our vision is regional and national. However, we would enhance national capacity to foster large scale development, such that our local ship operators would not go to Ghana and other countries for fabrication and ships repairs, which could be done here in Nigeria", he said.
Omatseye in his remarks after facility tour said that the agency would give full support to LADOL, in line with the policy of local content initiative of the Federal Government.
According to the NIMASA helmsman, indigenous companies need to be given a conducive business environment and level playing ground to thrive and stay afloat in the shipping business. “We are very happy with the quality of the equipment on ground and what LADOL is doing in the maritime sector in Nigeria. LADOL's investment is not just for the company alone, but for Nigeria's economy as a whole.
“In that capacity, we would see areas we could work together with the company to achieve the desired results. NIMASA is trying to ensure that 30 per cent discount is given to ships coming in because ship repairs and building would generate more income for the economy and employment for youths. We would also ensure zero percent duties for vessels coming into the country”, he added.
He disclosed that NIMASA has applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for more funds to be released for infrastructure development in the maritime industry like what the government is doing in the manufacturing sector of the economy.
"LADOL's facility is of international standard and after this visit we would have a roundtable discussion on how to support the company because its investment would stop capital flight and would help Nigeria as a maritime nation to prosper. As a warehousing and tool supply company, LADOL would increase logistics activities in Nigeria and in the sub region."
THISDAY checks revealed that the company has so far invested over $100 million in a facility covering fabrication yards of over 50 hectares of land, 80 tonne crane, 10 forklift, trucks and flatbed trailers, a standard ware house, 800 tonne flat barge, 200m3 fuel barge ferries and earth moving equipment among other sophisticated equipment.
LADOL logistics teams have decades of international and local experience, experts in vessel and cargo handling, specialised lifts and project logistics. The team designs specific logistics solutions to suit any job. It own logistics equipment is already certified and in use.
The free trade zone has all government authorities represented on ground to ensure that government directives and procedures are efficiently processed. The facility has subcontractors working offshore to provide equipment and personnel certification.