Jonathan stresses role of private sector in economic development

on   /   in Sweet Crude 12:17 am   /   Comments

Godwin ORITSE

…As LADOL pledges commitment to local content drive
President  Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has stressed the role of the Private Sector in the realization of Nigeria’s economic growth under the transformation agenda which is focused on repositioning the nation among the leading twenty economies of the world by the year 2020.

This is coming just as the promoters of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL), said the organization would continue to partner with government in championing the course of local content drive in the oil and gas logistics sector.

President Jonathan, who was represented by the Rivers State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amechi, at the opening ceremony of a two-day “2012 Oil and Gas Trade and Investment Forum” in Onne, Rivers State, disclosed that, to underscore the realization of the Vision 20:20 agenda, the issue would form part of the activities lined up for the celebration of Nigeria’s independence anniversary next month.

Also speaking with newsmen at the event, representative of LADOL, Mr. Alex Akao, noted that economic growth is synonymous with youths empowerment through jobs creation which could best be achieved by encouraging and promoting local investment, development, indigenous ownership, and management of job creating facilities by Nigerians.

He noted that to this end, LADOL has so far invested over $100 million in transforming a swamp land off Apapa port axis in Lagos into a world class one- stop shop deep offshore logistics base and free zone now known as LADOL Free Zone (LFZ).

“LADOL is the only facility of its kind in Nigeria, being the first Greenfield specifically designed and built deep offshore logistics base. As a wholly indigenous Nigerian facility, the organization is a champion for local content and one of its greatest success stories is the provision of a hassle free on-shore and off-shore logistics supports for oil and gas production and exploration.

“Let me inform you that activities at LADOL this year alone have domesticated USD 60 million that would otherwise have been spent abroad”, he said.

The LADOL spokesman called on government to continue to support local investors by providing a level playing field which would guarantee equal opportunities for Nigerian industry players.

In the President’s speech, Dr Jonathan noted that it is pertinent to inform investors, particularly in the Oil and Gas industry that government remains committed to the implementation of the economic reforms which are capable of changing the dynamics of Nigerian economy.

“As part of our efforts, government has come up with policies, plans and programs geared towards the reduction or elimination of bottlenecks and other encumbrances to business and investment through harmonization of Nigeria Trade procedures and documentations”.

Other efforts by government to provide an investment friendly environment, according to President Jonathan, include the setting up of Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Public Sector Reforms through Pubic Private Sector Partnership, and the empowerment of the Private Sector through Nigeria Investment Promotion Act of 1995.

While reaffirming government’s faith in the capability and commitment of free Trade Zones operators in Nigeria, President Jonathan stressed that the strength of his economic reforms agenda lies on a “robust private sector supportive investment facilitation mechanism as well as fast growing financial sector and youthful skilled and low cost labor”.

The 2012 Nigeria Oil and Gas Trade and Investment Forum with the theme, “Harnessing Investment Opportunities in the Oil and gas sector: The Role of the Oil and Gas Free Zones in the Transformation Agenda” was organized by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment in conjunction with Orlean Investment West Africa.

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