The key to building a strong supply chain in Nigeria is sustainable local industrialization and to achieve this, the federal government must support and enable thousands of new sustainable businesses across a wide range of industries.
This position was made by the Managing Director of LADOL Free Zone, Dr. Amy Jadesimi in a paper on ‘Maximising Supply Chain Viability in-Country: Drawbacks & The Way Forward’ she delivered at the hybrid event of 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE Nigeria Council Annual Technical Symposium.
According to Jadesimi, these businesses may well currently be businesses that primarily support the petroleum sector but which in the future could transition to primarily support other industries from agriculture to urban building and green energy.
“The key to having strong supply chains in Nigeria is industrial development and diversification. The data shows that the most profitable businesses and those that will have increased access to finance are sustainable businesses. Nigeria has an unmatched opportunity to grow and industrialise sustainably. Sustainable business models work across all industries. In fact, in just four sectors – healthcare, agriculture, energy, and urbanisation – there are USD 12 trillion of sustainable business opportunities. As one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, our need is greater than most and our reward will be greater than most if we latch on to these opportunities now.
“Oil and gas is an integral part of Nigeria’s economy not only because the country is an exporter but also because the petroleum currently drives and is an integral part of every economy across the world. But the world economies have almost universally committed to shifting away from petroleum towards greener solutions. We are living in a world where the largest country in the world, led by President Joe Biden’s administration is making green commitments, not just in terms of transitioning but also in terms of investment today, far beyond the commitments made by previous leaders. UK, Europe, and countries in Asia are doing the same.
“Even if we don’t transition our economy, we will end up being forced to. But that is the wrong way to look at this global shift. Rather this shift is a chance for us to build the right way and achieve sustainable industrialisation ahead of wealthier countries, which have to backward integrate. Especially since technologies are getting cheaper.
“In summary, we need to industrialise to protect and strengthen our supply chains today – doing so sustainably through the local private sector will yield greater profits now and, in the future, enable us to get access to cheaper, longer-term funding and put us at the forefront of a worldwide transition. While this transition could take another 20 to 30 years, there is no doubt that it is needed, it has started, and it will happen.
“In order to secure our supply chains today, in order to secure our economy and industries tomorrow, we must develop more local eco-systems, just as we have done in LADOL, which support a wide range of industries,” she said.
On the need for local collaboration, Jadesimi said “We must also look at increasing collaboration to help tackle current manufacturing challenges. The Real Private sector working together can solve many of our collective challenges and create a closer and enabling working relationship with the public sector. LADOL is, in essence, a platform, and that platform is to enable a range of companies to operate optimally locally in engineering, in manufacturing, in design and create finished goods here.”