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By Godwin Oritse

THE United Kingdom, UK, has inspected facilities at the fast-growing Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Free Zone Enterprises, LADOL FZE, in its quest to expand its trade and development activities in sub-Sahara Africa. Already, UK’s Department For International Development, DFID, had kick-started the plans with high-powered representatives who visited the LADOL base in Apapa Pilotage district on Wednesday, on a fact–finding mission.

The four-man delegation led by the DFID Chief Economist, Professor Stefan Dercon, was received by the Executive Director, business development, of LADOL, Mr. Jide Jadesimi, who conducted the team around the industrial hub.

LADOL is currently playing host to the integration of a $3.8 billion Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) oil and gas services platform, otherwise known as the Egina project. The project was awarded to the Korean-based Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) by TOTAL Oil Exploration, with LADOL serving as the Local Content Partner to SHI.  Speaking with newsmen shortly after the tour, Dercon said his team’s visit was part of current efforts by the British government to encourage investment across Africa and Asia, with particular focus on developing economies. “We are here as part of our efforts to expand trade and development with foreign companies and Nigeria being a key country in that drive. We are particularly interested in knowing the level of investment and development in the manufacturing sector here in Lagos”.

Expressing delight at the rate of development in the base, Dercon noted that the visit which he described as an eye opener, has further strengthened the available investment opportunities in the LADOL base and the country at large. “Our visit here to the LADOL Free Zone has demonstrated the fact that Nigeria has overcome the hurdles of untapped infrastructure, and we are quite impressed with the whole idea of having in the zone, the presence of government agencies such as Customs, and Immigration as well as others who are here to ensure that things are done the right way. The facilities here are quite impressive and that really shows that if we collaborate with the private sectors here,  quite a lot can be achieved in terms of adding value to investment and industrial growth here in Nigeria”, he added. To this end, he said he was taking the message home to British companies who may be desirous of investing in Nigeria that there are a lot of business opportunities here for investors to tap from. Earlier during the facility tour, Jadesimi informed the team that LADOL remains the first and only wholly indigenous company of its kind in the country with more focus on local content development as well as industrial growth. He expressed the hope that the visit would be beneficial to both parties on the long run.

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