Nigerian South African Chamber of Commerce

Members Directory



OPPORTUNITIES IN AN EMERGING NIGERIA-FOCUS ON INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

Posted on: 13 Mar 2013

Warri Industrial Business Park has been described as a renewed vista of opportunities for professionals and operators in various sectors of the economy.

Helen Emore, Project Director, Warri Industrial Business Park Project, said that the business park has created opportunities for investment in infrastructure, bearing in mind that infrastructure is a cardinal challenge facing Nigeria, and preventing the country from keying into the avalanche of economic and commercial opportunities available in Nigeria.

According to her, tender call has been made for civil engineering construction firms, building companies, mechanical and electrical services firms. The Basic Infrastructure Engineering (BIE) Design which comprises of an integrated plan for roads, bridges, drains, sewers, electrical and telecommunication systems, water supply, solid waste management and gas supply has been completed. This is the final step in preparing for construction work to start on the world-class facility.

“Coming as part of projects to be bankrolled with the first tranche of Delta State Government’s Bond for the provision of infrastructure in the state, Warri Industrial Business Park is designed to be the preferred choice for global business interaction and a friendly business environment for investors and tenants.

“The project is being implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) jointly owned by the Delta State government, which has 80 percent stake, and Arco Petrochemicals and Engineering with 20 percent stake,” she disclosed.

At the February breakfast forum of the Nigerian-South African chamber of Commerce, Emore revealed that the master plan of the entire project has been developed by Jurong, an industrial infrastructure specialist in Singapore, and divided into various categories such as “Industrial Use,” “Industrial Mixed Use”, and “Residential Use,” adding that Plots of land are available for long leases in areas earmarked as industrial, office and commercial building.

She said that because of the magnitude of the project, it had issued expression of interest for the international and local development partners for the park, which is expected to gulp $1billion.

Emore said: “Because of the enormity of the project, we realized that this is not something one person can do. So, we decided to execute the project through a Public Private Partnership scheme and that is why we have opted for international expression of interest for the development of the project.

“The project which is expected to be completed by 2014 will be financed through joint venture, concession and private equity participation. It will be driven by Public Private Partnership with the aim of developing first class infrastructure in the park for private sector operators.”

Giving details of the project in Lagos, She said that the state government conceived the project as part of strategies to diversify Delta State economic base way from oil, attract new businesses into the oil city and stimulate return of businesses that left previously.

However, she regretted that lack of good governance is a major factor that prevents Nigeria from taking its rightful place as regards socio-economic development; but recommended that there is need for attitudinal change on the part of the people. “When it comes to business, we should start thinking big, and put on the can-do spirit,” she stated.

She is optimistic that the business outlook in Nigeria for 2013 is positive, stressing that 2013 will be better than 2012 based on visible recovery in key sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas, wholesale and retail, infrastructure and commercial real estate.

According to the project director, the first phase of the park which is located on 1,000 acres of land is expected to gulp over $1.4 billion when construction activity is completed in 40 months time.

The project is designed to be a mixed-use industrial and business park that will provide world-class infrastructure for businesses – Manufacturing, Commercial, Logistics, Oil &Gas including residential and leisure purposes.

Already several organizations including, Zenith Bank PLC, First Bank plc, UKTI, British Enterprise, Chevron Plc, ASCON, Evergreen, Sub-Sahara infrastructure have expressed interest in supporting the park development said Emore.

She added that, the proposed growth in the industrial sector of Delta State , will not only result in the creation of new knowledge, new enterprises, new opportunities and new export oriented product that will stimulate the service and commercial sector of the economy thus raising the state competitiveness in such industries in the global market.

Mr. Foluso Phillips commended the director for her wonderful presentation.