The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman on Wednesday commended ongoing multi-billion investment at Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL).
Speaking during a facility tour of LADOL, Bala-Usman reintegrated the resolve of the Federal Government to make Nigeria maritime, as well as oil and gas hub in the West African Sub-region.
Bala-Usman explained that the move has become necessary considering the potentials of Nigeria as a major maritime player globally.
The NPA boss made the remark in response to an earlier call by her host, the Managing Director of LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, urging government to urgently addres lingering issue of a level playing ground for operators in the industry, if the dream of making Nigeria a hub station is to be achieved.
According to Bala Usman, Government is not unaware of the need to uphold local content drive in the industry as a veritable means of mass job creation, and in the overall interest of the nation’s economy.
Explaining further according to a statement, the NPA boss said:“We will look at all issues as relates to making Nigeria a hub. We will ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the port’s operations system in a way that all ports related businesses will strive within the marine environment.
“We’ve visited and I must say that I am particularly impressed at the level of investments here. I am impressed at your move to boost local content in the industry…we really need to bring in local content strongly in order to ensure employment for our people of Nigeria” she said.
The NPA Managing Director was accompanied by her management team that included the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Engineer Davies Sekonte, the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical services, Idris Abubakar, and other top management staffers.
Earlier, the LADOL boss took the visiting team on a tour of the yard where the first ever fabrication of a $3.8 billion Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel, otherwise known as Egina project was taking place within the LADOL base.
She explained further “ this project is first of its kind in Africa and sitting it at an indigenous facility like LADOL speaks volumes of our national resolve and determination to take our pride of place as the regional hub’.
According to her, the vessel with a length of 340 meters and 70 meters wide has reached an advanced stage of completion as the entire project had already gulped not less than $4 billion in which LADOL had put in $500 million in local content.
She said: “We started development in 2004 when we got the first lease from NPA…and our mission and vision has been to see a situation where Nigeria will join its foreign counterparts such as Korea, China in creating industrial zones that will take us to the future.
“We look forward to moving Nigeria forward along the line of other developed countries of the world where private indigenous development is key to economic growth. It makes sense because Nigeria has a huge market for this, going by the population.
To achieve this, Dr Jadesimi appealed to the ports’ management to not only ensure a level playing ground for all operators to coexist, but also ensure what she called, “local collaboration between private sectors and between the private sectors and public sector”.