By Eromosele Abiodun
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has called on the federal government to support Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL) and other companies in the country so as to fast-track Nigeriaâ€™s industrialisation and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.
Chairman of SPE Council, Saka Matemilola, who stated this when he led a delegation of the body to LADOL in Lagos, stressed that doing so will ensure that the opportunities for growth for local content and industries at the free zone would be harnessed for Nigeriaâ€™s benefit.
According to him, â€œWhat LADOL needs now is the right support from the government and the right support from other agencies like the Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other agencies that will make it work and ensure the right projects are brought here for execution.
â€œI learnt they have government support, I can only hope there is continuity of this support. With the project going on now what we are asking is what is next? It is only when we have a strong support from the government to ensure that any construction of things of similar scale and size that can be done in Nigeria is done hereâ€, he said.
On the opportunity for the private sector in terms of manufacturing, he said: A lot of the things that were being fabricated outside of Nigeria are now been done in Nigeria. You can see the FPSO that was fabricated here; it means we can now do complete fabrication in Nigeria. I see a lot of opportunities for growth for local content and industries. This will create a lot of jobs for Nigerians. Other construction companies will also benefit from the expertise been developed here.
â€œWhat we should be looking at now is not just what happens here but how other sectors can benefit from what is happening here. I see the determination to grow the local content and I see the vision to grow and collaborate with other similar facilities in Nigeria and make Nigeria the hub of oil and gas fabrication and engineering in Africa. I am proud that this is happening here.â€
Also, the Executive Director, LADOL, Mr. Ladi Jadesimi said the initiative that the present administration has shown to use free zones as a method through which it can industrialise Nigeria, increase the inflow of foreign investment into the country and also boost the manufacturing capability and capacity will be a great way to grow the economy.
The initiative, he added, is a vehicle that LADOL is very proud of and continues to play her role is boosting and achieving that lofty goal.
â€œWe are very fortunate here, we have a business model that is very flexible, and we are focused on logistic support services for the oil and gas industry. We also work closely with the maritime sector and other sectors within the economy. So whether it is project that has to do with manufacturing to supporting the aviation industry we really encourage and open our doors to those types of investors and companies to come and set up in LADOL, â€œhe said.
On the plan to make LADOL the hub for fabrication in West Africa, he said the company is ready adding, â€œIf I take that into a wider context, I will say Nigeria is ready. LADOL is a cog in a much bigger wheel which means that others yards within Nigeria will also have a very significant role to play in making Nigeria the hub for the entire region. We are very fortunate to have the captive domestic demand in terms of the size of our population to support this kind of investment.â€