What do you hope to achieve at the end of the tour of your facilities by the journalists ?
That is a good question, I think the first objective is to shoe them that Nigeria is not what they think, you know the image of Nigeria out side the country is very negative and every time I come in with journalists and customers, they are always positively sunrise to see how warm Nigerians can be.
The objective tonight is to show them the real image of Nigeria, a dynamic country with an equally dynamic people who are proud to Nigerians, that will be my first objective and I think it is already done.
What is SDVâ€™s share of the container market in Nigeria?
The percentage of SDVâ€™s share of the container market is difficult to evaluate but I think we are number one global logistics provider.
We operate in so many field of logistics of port operations, trucking, airfreight, sea freight ,project, heavy lift, warehouse management and I think because of that we are certainly the number one in terms varieties of services offered.
I am aware that SDV or the Bolorie group is not as pronounced France or Europe as it is in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, why is this so ?
Our group in Africa is the number one logistics company there is no contesting that , with twenty thousand people on our pay roll and operateÂ in forty-one countries.
In Nigeria, we could be bigger than we are currently are and that was because we did not invest enough in the past.
To day our objective is to grow and I believe in the next five years, we will become the biggest player in the countries where we operate. We have done a lot in the last four years
I am aware that SDV was very involved in the LNG project especially train six, what was is the level of SDV in that project?
It was not only in train six, but from the very beginning of the project from train one to train six.
We have done all the project, we have moved every thing from containers to heavy lift. since 1999 when the project started.
Today unfortunately the project has stopped, so we have to pull out, but we will certainly be there foe train seven, it is just a pity the project is stopped now.
Having been in the Nigerian maritime industry for so many years, what is your impression , what do you think is the major problem facing the industry?
Well, I think the first problem I see as a major challenge in the maritime industry is the dwell time for clearing containers. Today in Nigeria, the average time to clear containers is twenty days while the average time for most ports in the world is less than seven days.
If you just reduce by say 50%, the ports could double their capacities, that is the first major thing we have to achieve.
The second problem is the infrastructure out side of the port, the roads are in a bad shape , they have to improved upon.Â If you cannot move cargoes out of the port because of bad roads ,and the third one is the absence of a good train network. If you have a train network, you can bring cargo from the port to the North.Â If you take care of these three basic things, the country can reap bountifully from the local shipping industry.
What role do you think the maritime industry can to make Nigeria realize the objective of vision 2020
That is a good question, but I think every player must participate in that Committee.Â The real decision has to be taken now, not in 2020.It is good to have a long term view, but a short term action plan should be made now.
Like the things I just mentioned, re-organized more efficient customs clearing process, better road access, better train network, invest in the security area of the ports, are remove the tank farms from where they are currently located
You have to decide now invest now and in 2020 you will improve the situation.
You can talk forever but you must take the decision today to move forward You said that there are twenty thousand people on your pay roll, how many of these are Nigerians?
No, these 20,000 are not all Nigerians. In Nigeria, we have a bout a thousand and only 25 of these are expert rates, we have the lowest rate of expert rate .Where do you have your biggest operation
In Ivory Coast.