The Managing Director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL), Dr. Amy Jadesimi, has been honoured with the P4G award for Sustainable Special Economic Zones.
The award was given for LADOL’s work so far in developing plans and partnerships focused on transforming special economic zones in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya into vibrant hubs of low-carbon, sustainable and inclusive business and community growth.
The award ceremony provided opportunity for Jadesimi to present LADOL’s past, current and future plans to the international audience of business leaders.
Speaking at the occasion, she said, “Sustainable Special Economic Zones can transform low income high growth countries into global industrial and technology power houses, creating millions of jobs in the process.
“The P4G platform is ideally suited to encouraging, incubating and launching these Zones because it focuses on equitable partnerships lead by local entrepreneurs and/or governments.
“Over the next decade, countries like Nigeria can make a huge contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals if the local private sector companies that are building capacity and adding value sustainably, are supported.
“This support must come in the form of financing. Nigeria has sufficient capital available locally to get the ball rolling and transform thousands of small to large companies into significant market players.
“However, both local and international funding is not yet going where it should particularly in terms of the what will yield the highest return to investors.
“It is now an incontrovertible fact that sustainability equals profitability. I’m encouraged to see the shift in the global investment community towards ESG and sustainable investments as a preferred asset class.
“We now need to see action in the form of new criteria for bankability and now financial products that make it possible to directly fund sustainable indigenous private companies, from the smallest to the largest.”
On the issue of financing, Jadesimi urged P4G to support a universally accepted rating/ benchmarking system for sustainability that would enable investors to include sustainability in credit rating analysis as a key criterion.
“Even if sustainable companies do not meet the currently popular but highly restrictive and negative yielding definitions of bankability, this new benchmark would ensure that the right companies get funding and that their investors benefit from higher returns.”