NPA promises to back LADOL Free Zone to become more productive
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has reiterated its commitment to support the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL) to become more productive in its maritime, health, agriculture and logistics operations in Nigeria.
Onari Brown, executive director, Marine and Operations of the NPA, made this promise during his familiarisation tour to the LADOL Free Zone together with Fumilayo Olotu, Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
Brown, who expressed satisfaction with the infrastructural development in LADOL, said the Free Zone’s heavy lift capacity makes it a destination of choice.
“I am really impressed with what I have seen today, and I think we will be more supportive. Now that I have seen, I think we will engage more and also talk more,” Brown said.
Brown, who was particularly happy with the investment in agriculture, noted that food insufficiency is one of the major things that can cause crisis in a country.
“Somebody that has eaten well could wait for better times to come but when somebody is on lockdown and does not have food in his house, he will leave that house and go out to look for food,” he said while commenting on LADOL’s agric initiative.
In this time of COVID-19, he said, Nigerians have come to realise that the country cannot rely on crude oil, and there was need to grow the maritime sector.
According to him, throughout the period of the COVID-19 lockdown, when airports were closing down, no country thought about shutting down their seaports and that was what sustained the fight against COVID-19.
Brown however stated that NPA will always be supportive to operators and all its partners to enable Nigeria’s maritime sector develop further.
Ayodele Durowaiy, assistant general manager, Operations, who noted that going into agro-business now will help the economy, expressed happiness over LADOL’s vision to expand beyond West African Sub Region to the whole continent.
“In terms of stakeholder engagement, management at the highest level will continue to drive this process and we are happy with the leadership role that LADOL is playing particularly in Lagos district,” he added.
Amy Jadesimi, managing director of LADOL, who spoke on LADOL’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), said since inception, the company has engaged with local communities to create an understanding and work with them on a meritocratic basis.
“We give job opportunities to those that are qualified for it, but a lot of Nigerians have not had the experience for the specialised jobs we do here. But, we are not looking for somebody who necessarily has 10 years’ experience in a field. We are looking for young people who are hardworking, honest, and ready to jump in with both feet,” she said.
Jadesimi however stated that many of LADOL’s staff has been with them for over a decade and they come from the local community.
“LADOL provides a lot of employment and training. I also want to thank all the staff and management of LADOL who worked so hard as a strong team to enable us pass through the COVID-19 pandemic. I have to say across Nigeria, we saw many examples of how this crisis has brought Nigerians together and renewed our focus for self-sufficiency,” she said.
On LADOL’s Isolation Centre, she said the company will make it available to other terminal operators who need the facility.