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Industrial devt, diversification critical to strong supply chain – LADOL boss

For Nigeria to build a strong supply chain, there is need for sustainable industrial development and implementation of serious economic diversification plan, Amy Jadesimi, managing director of LADOL Free Zone, has said.

To achieve this, the country needs to support the growth of thousands of new businesses across a wide range of industries including agriculture, urban building and green energy.

Jadesimi, who was a guest at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Explorationist (SPE) Nigeria Council Annual Technical Symposium, spoke on the theme ‘Maximising Supply Chain Viability in-Country: Drawbacks & The Way Forward.’

Data shows that Nigeria has an unmatched opportunity to industrialise sustainably using business models that work across all industries. For instance, in just four sectors – healthcare, agriculture, energy, and urbanisation – there is USD12 trillion of sustainable business opportunities.

According to her, the most profitable businesses and those that will have increasing access to finance, are sustainable businesses.

“Oil and gas is an integral part of Nigeria’s economy not only because the country is an exporter of crude oil, but also because oil currently drives and is an integral part of every economy across the world. But the world economies have almost universally committed to shifting away from petroleum to greener solutions,” she said.

Using United States of America as an example, Jadesimi explained that the largest country in the world, led by President Joe Biden is making green commitments, not just in terms of transitioning but also in terms of investment, which is far beyond the commitments made by previous leaders, while UK, Europe, and countries in Asia are doing the same.

“Even if we don’t diversify our economy, we will end up being forced to. But that is the wrong way to look at this global shift. Rather this shift should be a chance for us to build the right way and achieve sustainable industrialisation ahead of wealthier countries, which have to backward integrate especially since technologies are getting cheaper,” she pointed out.

She further said that Nigeria needs to industrialise in order to protect and strengthen its supply chains, and this will enable the local private sector to yield greater profits now. In the future, she said, it will enable access to cheaper, longer-term funding, and put Nigeria at the forefront of a worldwide transition.

While noting that this transition could take another 20 to 30 years, the LADOL boss said that there is no doubt that it is needed, it has started, and it will happen.

“In order to secure our supply chains today, secure our economy and industries tomorrow, we must develop more local eco-systems, just as we have done in LADOL, which supports a wide range of industries,” she said.

Jadesimi however noted that Nigerian companies must also look at increasing collaboration to help tackle current manufacturing challenges because the real private sector working together can create a closer and enabling working relationship with public sector.

“LADOL, in essence, is a platform that enables a range of companies to operate optimally in engineering, manufacturing, design, and create finished goods here,” she added.

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