Managing Director, LADOL Free Zone, Dr. Amy Jadesimi

Managing Director of LADOL Free Zone, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, has no doubt been in the vanguard of the crusade for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations not only in Africa, but also in Nigeria, since charity begins at home. She has also not hidden the fact that governments at all levels would need to implement the right policies to enable the private sector, especially the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises SMEs to drive the process.

The LADOL-boss recently took her campaign to Lagos State when she told the government that it can take a share of a new $12 trillion- market by creating a level playing field that enables private sector companies to compete and grow sustainable businesses.

Dr. Jadesimi spoke last month at the Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit 2021, in a panel session tagged ‘Mainstreaming Sustainability in Governance and Business’.

Other members of the panels were Mr. Young David, MD & Senior Partner, BCG; Dr. Gloria Udoh, Social Performance Manager, Shell; Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, GM External Affairs and Communication, Director AGPC (Anoh Gas Processing Company) Seplat; Mrs. Titilola Alabi, Sustainability and Public Affairs Manager, Diageo Nigeria.

According to her, almost all the 680 million new jobs the world needs, will be created by the private sector, particularly SMEs; the most profitable  of these growing companies  will be those that embrace sustainable business plans and targets.

 “To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we have to embrace the fact that private sector is going to be the driver. In a country like Nigeria and in state like Lagos it is the private sector, large or small that is going to be critical. There is a great opportunity for low income, high growth countries like Nigeria to correct our market failures by enabling our private sector to adopt sustainable business models.

“Lagos State can go a step further and push faster the implementation and growth of companies in the state by working with organisations such as the UNDP. UNDP has recently launched its SDG Impact Standards to support funds in driving capital to where it is needed most. UNDP’s suite of impact standards will help make sustainable businesses bankable, based on a market case and give them greater access to funding.

“The Nigerian private sector has proven itself to be hard working and resilient, with a level playing field and wide acceptance of Impact standards, as criteria for funding, the private sector can soar.”

Dr. Jadesimi was a Commissioner on the Business and Sustainable development Commission that produced the 2017 report, “Better Business Better World”. The report identified 60 biggest market opportunities related to delivering the Global Goals, in four verticals of Food and Agriculture; Cities; Energy & Materials; Health & Well-Being. The Commission’s work showed how achieving the Global Goals opens up an economic prize of at least $12 trillion by 2030 for the private sector and potentially 2-3 times more. Well over 50 per cent of the prize is located in high growth, low income countries. Achieving the Global Goals in these four economic verticals could create 380 million new jobs by 2030, almost 90 percent of them in developing countries. One market hot spot, affordable housing, accounts for almost one fifth (70 million) of these jobs. Pricing in environmental costs such as climate change increases the “real” size of the prize by a further 40 per cent. This report is now ubiquitously associated with the case for sustainable business. In short companies with a sustainable business model will be the most profitable and competitive, those without one will likely fall out of the market.

Lagos is already a powerhouse for Africa; by driving sustainable private entrepreneurship and commerce, creating a level playing field and adopting impact standards such as those produced by the United Nations Development Programme UNDP, Lagos could shortly be transformed into a powerhouse for the world.

LADOL, a wholly Nigerian company, is building the world’s first Sustainable Industrial Special Economic Zone SSEZ, using the UN 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. LADOL in 2017 disrupted the local oil and gas market, halving the cost 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 made products, a larger skilled workforce, and cheaper domestic operating costs.

LADOL is fast becoming a blueprint for the Sustainable Industrialisation of Africa, turning Africa’s demographic dividend into a global wealth creation.