New York — The Managing Director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base, LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, along side Mrs. Gail Klintworth and Mr. Robbie Marwick from Systemiq collected the P4G award for Sustainable Special Economic Zones.
The award was given for LADOL’s work so far in developing plans and partnerships focused on transforming special economic zones in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya into vibrant hubs of low-carbon, sustainable and inclusive business and community growth.
The award ceremony took place after a morning session during which Dr. Jadesimi presented LADOL’s past, current and future plans to the international audience of business leaders attending the P4G Acceleration Workshop.
Dr Jadesimi: “Sustainable Special Economic Zones can transform low income high growth countries into global industrial and technology power houses, creating millions of jobs in the process. The P4G platform is ideally suited to encouraging, incubating and launching these Zones because it focuses on equitable partnerships lead by local entrepreneurs and/or governments.”
“Over the next decade, countries like Nigeria can make a huge contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals if the local private sector companies that are building capacity and adding value sustainably, are supported. This support must come in the form of financing. Nigeria has sufficient capital available locally to get the ball rolling and transform thousands of small to large companies into significant market players. However, both local and international funding is not yet going where it should particularly in terms of the what will yield the highest return to investors. It is now an incontrovertible fact that sustainability equals profitability. I’m encouraged to see the shift in the global investment community towards ESG and sustainable investments as a preferred asset class. However, we now need to see action in the form of new criteria for bankability and now financial products that make it possible to directly fund sustainable indigenous private companies, from the smallest to the largest.”
On the issue of financing, Dr. Jadesimi urged P4G to support a universally accepted rating / benchmarking system for sustainability that will enable investors to include sustainability in credit rating analysis as a key criterion. Even if sustainable companies do not meet the currently popular but highly restrictive and negative yielding definitions of bankability, this new benchmark would ensure that the right companies get funding and that their investors benefit from higher returns. Private indigenous companies in high growth / low income countries are suitable investment vehicles.
“LADOL has already started diversifying and targeting a range of clients from agriculture to general manufacturing and green energy companies. We want to attract the brightest companies and people into LADOL to partner, engineer and manufacture new industrial solutions for the world’s fastest growing markets, i.e. countries in Africa,” she said.
Regarding the ACFTA Dr. Jadesimi reiterated her strong commitment to regional African collaboration: “I believe in a strong united free market AU, where African countries collaborate to build our local markets by sharing ideas, people, resources and markets. Strong Governments in African countries and indigenous private companies will then be in a position to form equitable international partnerships, based on an alignment of incentives, mutual respect and shared long-term vision.”
“Innovation must be done in our local markets – LADOL is investing in creating an environment where a wide range of local entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators can design solutions in Nigeria for Nigeria – let’s industrialise Africa.”
P4G, with initial funding by the government of Denmark, is a network of leaders from government, business and civil society working to accelerate green growth in many of the 150 developing countries across the world. Already we are working in partnership with leaders in 12 countries: Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Africa, The Republic of Korea and Vietnam. Our partner countries see public-private partnerships as key to meeting their Sustainable Development Goals. We also benefit from the active support of partner organizations. These include: C40, IFC, Global Green Growth Institute, UN Global Compact, World Economic Forum, and World Resources Institute, which also hosts P4G’s Global Hub in Washington, DC.
LADOL is building the world’s first Sustainable Industrial Special Economic Zone (SSEZ). LADOL is using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to build a unique circular ecosystem, servicing a range of industries.
The Zone was developed out of a disused swamp and has been operational since 2006. Every year since then the infrastructure and facilities have grown and expanded. The Zone now provides a 24/7 efficient, safe and secure location from which local and international companies, in a range of sectors, can start operating immediately. In 2017 LADOL disrupted the local oil and gas market, halving the costs of local support, and creating thousands of local jobs. LADOL is now focused on attracting and servicing a range of non-oil and gas companies, in sectors ranging from technology to agriculture. The sectors identified will work together to create a circular economy within the Zone. West Africa is one of the largest under-served markets in the world with the fastest growing population. Industrial companies working in LADOL can service this market sustainably and profitably, while creating tens of thousands of jobs. As the local market grows there will be higher demand for locally produced products, a larger skilled workforce and cheaper domestic operating costs.
LADOL is becoming a blueprint for the Sustainable Industrialisation of Africa, turning Africa’s demographic dividend into a global wealth creation.