‘The facilities we have in LADOL make it possible to do things in Nigeria which you cannot do anywhere in West Africa and in most cases in the whole of Africa’ – Jadesimi
Dr. Jadesimi received her first degree from Oxford University, where she earned a BA in Physiological Sciences. She then attended Oxford University Medical School, from which she graduated as a medical doctor (MD).
After Oxford, Dr. Jadesimi joined Goldman Sachs International in London as part of the Investment Banking Division, specializing in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. She then attended Stanford Business School, from which she earned her MBA in Business Administration. While at Stanford, Amy completed an internship with Brait Private Equity in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she worked as a transaction executive in Private Equity.
After graduating from business school Amy moved to Nigeria where she set up a financial consultancy firm before joining the Management Team of LiLe as Managing Director.
Could you take us through some of your operations and what you stand for?
LADOL is actually an Industrial Free Zone, the services we offer range from logistics support, that is drilling and offshore support for deep offshore and near shore Lagos oil and gas, we offer rig and ship repairs, and through our vessel integration and fabrication yard we can now do new steel fabrication which is like the Topsides of FPSO, is for the rail sector, we can even build the structure for hospitals, bridges, any big structure can actually be fabricated and assembled in our facility, and just as importantly, fabrications that takes place across the country, if you are fabricating in the Aveon yard in Port Harcourt, you can build the model there and that can be brought to LADOL to make it into the larger whole, that is a really important point. Because what it means is that the integration facilities is creating jobs all over Nigeria by increasing the demand for made in Nigeria fabrication and engineering.
One of the reasons LADOL has been able to change the way business is done is because the oil price has fallen and has now stabilised around $40. At a lower oil price, people make rational decisions, the rational decision for offshore drilling and production support is to use facilities like LADOL because we have been doing that support in-country, that’s because it’s not just about LADOL, it is important because when international companies are making decisions about where to do their jobs, if they look at Nigeria as a high cost destination then they are not going to invest here, they are not going to work here.
So what facilities like LADOL do is to make Nigeria a more attractive investment destination, the facilities we have in LADOL makes it possible to do things in Nigeria which you cannot do anywhere in West Africa, and in most cases in the whole of Africa. What that does is to make Nigeria a hub, and I think that is why when this conference opened, His Excellency, Muhammedu Buhari mentioned specifically that LADOL is a strategic investment hub which other people should emulate and support.
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Where do you source your raw materials from?
It depends on what it is, for example one of the things I talked about is the local effects of being able to build ships in LADOL is the stimulation of relative industries like the steel manufacturing industry. Right now, our steel manufacturing industry is somehow moribund, why? Because there isn’t enough local demand for new steel fabrication, what we have done in LADOL is to increase the local demand for steel and make it more attractive for private sector to investment in steel manufacturing, and that will revitalise that sector of the economy.
Have you encountered any challenges in the course of doing your business in Nigeria?
We have encountered many challenges, am smiling because am trying to keep the worst once. There are many challenges we all face doing business in Nigeria but we will stay here because when you overcome those challenges and I know we will overcome them, the return you get on your investment is very important whether you are a foreign or local investor, but if you are local, overcoming those challenges is imperative. Yes, we face challenges because when you are changing the game in a sector where there are a lot of rent seeking, a lot of government funded monopoly, people are fighting you because they don’t want transparency, they don’t want Nigerians to benefit, they don’t want the market to grow because if the market grows it will be harder for them to maintain their rent seeking activities, it will be harder for them to maintain the type of ill-gotten gains that they have enjoyed. And of course, we always knew we are going to face opposition but I always knew that these oppositions will not prevail, number one because of the Nigerian people. I have to say that doing this business have really shown me that Nigerians are very decent people. People have gone above to risk their jobs to ensure that LADOL succeeds, not because of LADOL but they believe in doing the right thing, and when they see a Nigerian that is investing in infrastructure they just want to do the right thing. I learnt that Nigerians are good decent people, they will work hard and they will succeed and because we have seen that this is a fantastic place to do business, there are barriers to entry but the market opportunity is there, when you add value, and build a facility that changes the game in a positive way, you get the return on your investment.
Local content development and local collaboration, how do this link up with demand driven development?
Where we are right now is a critical stage in our development, historically we haven’t had enough capacity development by locals, we have had locals competing for a very small pie and that consist of agency fees and money you get through procurement and that kind of a thing that doesn’t generate jobs. With real local development, when you start to talk about capacity development, then you look at development clusters, for example for LADOL to get full returns on investment we need more fabrication in-country. It shouldn’t be the case that other fabrication in-country should be looking at what we are doing at LADOL as a threat, they should see it as an opportunity because we are doing integration in Nigeria, these other in-country facilities will have more work, so we should be talking to each other, talking to government together so that we can make sure that the existing rules and regulations are applied, we should also open a dialogue with government so that government will know what we can do, we should let them know what private sector is capable of and more of what we are willing to do with more enabling environment.
Where do you see LADOL by the year 2030?
We are hoping that by 2020 there will be many more LADOLs across the country, not necessarily owned by us but such facilities that are owned by indigenous Nigerians. I see us having a kind of renaissance not just in the oil and gas industry, but the different diversified sector in Nigeria, from Agriculture where one of the projects that LADOL is looking at is agricultural processing for export. We used to be cocoa exporters, one of my Great Grand fathers was the largest palm oil producer and trader in the world at a time until the British stopped him, we are going towards renaissance of a widely diversified industrialised country and I see LADOL contributing to that the way we have always done, that is building infrastructure by operating a world class facilities that enable international and local people to compete on this global scale.
What is your relationship with other African producing countries?
We are in discussion with our neighbouring countries right now about FPSO refurbishment particularly countries to our right who are in the habit of refurbishing FPSOs instead of building new ones, and it has always been of advantage to them