Eromosele Abiodun and Mohammed Habib
The Senate Committee on Marine Transport has pledged to exploit all necessary legislative tools in support of the Lagos Deep Offshore logistics base (LADOL), which is currently playing host to the biggest oil and gas fabrication yard in sub-Saharan Africa.
The commitment was made on behalf of the National Assembly in Lagos, when members of the upper legislative chambers led by the Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Yerimah Sanni, toured the Apapa port-based yard in Lagos.
Speaking with journalists after the tour, Sanni expressed delight at the state of the art yard which is currently hosting the fabrication of Africa’s largest Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) valued at over $3.8 billion.
The FPSO oil and gas platform otherwise known as Egina project is being handled on behalf of Total by the Korean-based Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) with LADOL as the Local Content partner led by Dr. Amy Jadesimi, its Managing Director who received the guests.
According to the committee Chairman, “I am highly impressed at what I have seen today. That such a project is being handled in Nigerian with an indigenous company playing a major role is highly commendable…and we need to encourage them in whatever legitimate ways we can.
“This is my first time of coming here…I just heard about LADOL through documents that come to my table. Our responsibility as National Assembly is to make laws. We do this with a view to providing the enabling environment for various agreements that are entered into by government and other stakeholders.
“We also carry out oversight functions and recommend to government on ways and manners that such projects can be supported for optimum performance to enable them achieve their goals in the overall interest of Nigeria…and I think LADOL falls under this category of indigenous organisations that need supports,” he said.
Describing LADOL as a unique Nigerian indigenous investment, Senator Sanni added, “We will channel our legislative activities towards ensuring that activities such as this not only survive but progress in enriching the national economy.”
Earlier during the facility tour, MD, of LADOL, Jadesimi informed the legislators that the fabrication works being currently handled at LADOL base had never been done anywhere else in Africa.
“This yard was built by a Nigerian contractor by name Deux Projects. This is the real Nigerian success story built by Nigerians” she said.
Jadesimi went down memory lane to recall that the feat was achieved despite initial skepticism by some detractors who were vehemently opposed to having the job done in Nigeria for selfish reasons.
“Shortly before we embarked on building the yard, there were a lot of distractive stories…a lot of controversies some of which still continues till date. We were told that it would take five years to build the yard, so forget it! We were told it would be cheaper to do it outside Nigeria, so we shouldn’t bother.
“Well, the fabrication yard you are seeing here today was built in one year by Deux Project-a Nigerian company. So that shows you how easy it is to develop this kind of capacity…and how important it is that we don’t let people try to push us off the path of development, for their own selfish reasons, because these developments are very critical to economic growth”.
Explaining further, the LADOL boss pointed out that a number of factors make the base unique.
“I like to let you know that some facilities here are unique in Africa. The crane capacity is the highest in Africa…the two cranes you saw at the site are the second highest in the world…and some of the facilities are only available here and are critical to global standard in offshore operations” she said.