The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has commended the expatriate quota policy being adopted by the LADOL Free Zone (LFZ), saying the offshore logistics service company is a model for economic development in Nigeria.
The commendation was made in Lagos Monday, when a top management team of the NIS led by its Deputy Comptroller-General Mohammed Babandede, made a facility tour of the Floating Production Storage and Offtake (FPSO) site where the legendary Egina vessel is currently being fabricated.
They were received and later conducted round the Free Zone by the Managing Director, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, who gave a presentation that centered on the genesis of the base to its current phase two development, as well as its future aspirations.
Jadesimi told her guests that the ongoing fabrication at the zone was part of its readiness to receive the world’s largest ship in Nigeria.
The project valued at $3.8 billion dollars which is said to be first of its kind in the Sub-Saharan Africa is being constructed at the LFZ by the Korean based-Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), with the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics company (LADOL) acting as the local content partner.
Speaking with journalists shortly after touring the zone which is 100 % indigenous-owned, DCG Babandede expressed delight at the high number of Nigerians compared to expatriates currently working on the project, saying what he saw was nothing short of a ’60 to one” ratio.
“I am happy that I came. I am also happy with the team I met on ground, which shows clearly that you are creating employment for Nigerians in the most cost-effective manner. This is not what we’ve heard that your zone is flooded with expatriates.
“We have come and we have seen. They say seeing is believing. On behalf of the Honourable Minister of Interior and my Comptroller-General, we are ready to collaborate with you in your quest to move the country forward technologically.
“What I see on my table is that a lot of expatriates are here. The impression is that a lot of them are here and that no one knows what they are doing.
“But I have seen that a lot is happening here. Something is being done in this zone with technology at work. What I have seen is a ratio of 60 Nigerians to one expatriate. This is what I have seen physically, contrary to assumptions. Simply put, I am impressed,” he said.
Earlier, DCG Babandede had informed his guest that the NIS as a government agency was ready to be part of the change mantra being canvassed by the current administration in the country, by being partners in progress rather than being a force against expatriates.
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