- Private Sector to Invest N3.05tn in Maritime Infrastructure
The maritime sector is set to receive a boost as private sector operators are planning to invest $10bn (N3.05tn) in maritime infrastructure.
The Managing Director, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, stated this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent.
Jadesimi, whose outfit, LADOL, invested $500m in a vessel fabricating facility, said the project, apart from creating 50,000 jobs in Nigeria, would make the country the hub of maritime trade in Africa and inspire $10bn private sector investment in infrastructure.
She said, “When Nigeria becomes the hub in Africa, 200,000 more jobs would be created and provided government maintains an enabling environment, the private sector is ready to bring another $10bn into Nigeria to build infrastructure and equipment and to train Nigerians.”
According to her, the aim of building the vessel fabricating facility, which is said to be the largest in Africa, is to encourage more local investors to build facilities around it so that additional jobs will be created.
She said, “The aim is that one out 10 of the 50,000 jobs would be in LADOL and the other jobs would be outside LADOL. So, we need other people to invest and build facilities all over the place.
“But their ability to build those facilities has now been significantly eased by the fact that we have this integration facility in LADOL. It means that if you are fabricating something in Port Harcourt, you just put it on a barge, you send it to LADOL and we integrate it into the vessel or the rail or whatever needs to be built, instead of sending it to the other side of the world.”
The LADOL shipyard is capable of fabricating 1,000 tonnes per month as well as integrating the Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel, built in partnership with Total and Samsung Heavy Industries.
Jadesimi called for more private investment in the maritime sector, noting that it was the only way the sector could grow and achieve its potential.
She said that the sector was capable of attracting billions of dollars annually in private investment if government could encourage more private sector participation.
She said, “The Nigerian maritime sector and industrial sector should be attracting tens of billions of dollars every year in private investment. The private investors and the private market should far exceed public market and what the government is doing.“But right now, the government is about 90 per cent of the market and private sector is 10 per cent. But we have to turn that around completely and in order to do that, we need the government to keep doing what it is doing but do more to protect the private sector and to maintain a level playing field. We need more people in private sector to invest in the sector.
“If we want to maintain and grow a level of stability and enable even the poorest Nigerian to have good quality life and a realistic expectation that their children will have better quality life than they have, we have to have more private sector investment and we have to drive strongly towards making Nigeria a West Africa’s maritime hub.”