Members of the University of Lagosâ€™ Maritime Forum have reported being â€˜blown awayâ€™ after being conducted on a recent facility tour of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) Free Zone base in Lagos.
â€œThe facilities we saw literally blew our minds,â€ the Forumâ€™s President, Mr. Ilemobade Olateru-Olagbegi, said. â€œApart from the fact that they place so much emphasis on safety, thereâ€™s so much job creation happening here; thousands of people are being employed. This is really encouraging; the whole world needs to see this.â€
LADOL Free Zone was built out of a disused swamp on a secure island inside Apapa Port. It is strategically located at the point of entry into Lagos Harbour and provides fully serviced facilities and heavy infrastructure designed and deployed to support some of the largest industrial maritime projects in the world.
Presently, LADOL, in collaboration with Samsung Heavy Industries, is in the latter stages of completing the facilities for the integration of Total Upstreamâ€™s $3.8billion Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel coming in from South Korea.
The Forum members were picked up from a dock in Ikoyi and ferried to the LADOL base, where they were shown around by a Security and Marine Manager, Mr. Adewole Gege. Before entrance was granted into the baseâ€™ entrails, a 10 minute safety induction tutorial was delivered to the students by LADOLâ€™s Health and Safety Officer, Mr. Joseph Yunusa.
The tour was exhaustive, taking the Forum members through the serene premises of the base, including administration offices, Muster Points, Hotel, Restaurant, Warehouses, and several logistics infrastructures.
â€œThe fact that this company is fully indigenous owned is very impressive,â€ the Forumâ€™s first ever President, Teniola Akeju, said. â€œSeeing the structures being put in place, the possibilities are endless when you think about it.â€
â€œYou cannot quantify the income and foreign exchange this facility brings into Nigeria,â€ Mr. Ilemobade, the current President, said. â€œDuring the tour, I met people from diverse races and countries. And since the company is hundred per cent owned by Nigerians, the profits are being ploughed back into the Nigerian economy.â€
For Mr. Balogun Adeniyi, who was one of the Founding members of the Forum, LADOL is a dream come true for Nigeria. â€œI donâ€™t think thereâ€™s any company that is as big as LADOL in the Maritime Service industry, for now. And this is an encouragement for the young ones that are coming up. I want to believe that in the next 10 to 15 years, LADOL would have employed a lot of young Nigerians and would have helped to stabilize the Nigerian economy.â€
Gege, the LADOL official who conducted the tour, said his company was dedicated to improving the fortunes of Nigeria as a country. â€œWe do tours like these because we want to motivate the students and ensure that they understand that, as Nigerians, there is no limit to what they can do,â€ he said.