By Bayo Bernard
Indigenous Aviation and Maritime giant Sifax is currently working with Bayelsa state, to ramp up the state’s maritime and aviation potentials. The oil producing state will complete a cargo airport within a year and also working on constructing a seaport.
The government said its partnership with the private sector was important as paucity of funds has limited the capacity of the lithoral state to raise huge capital investment required to develop these areas on its own.
The top management team of the state’s Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA), led by Patience Ranami Abah, Director General, and Godwin Konyefa, Managing Director, Bayelsa Properties & Investment Company disclosed this during a working visit to SIFAX Group head office in Lagos.
The visit provided the team opportunity to tour some Sifax subsidiaries, including Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), Sifax Off Dock Nigeria Limited and SIFAX Haulage and Logistics Limited.
According to BIPA boss, Abah, the aim of the visit was to collaborate with SIFAX Group in the development of the huge business potentials in the state, adding that the SAHCOL’s team had earlier visited the state to inspect its new cargo airport.
“After the visit of SAHCOL team to Bayelsa, we were invited to take a tour of the facilities of the company. Before the cargo airport begins operations, we wanted to get things right.
With our visit today, we are marveled at the excellent business operations of the company. We don’t just want to build any kind of warehouse neither indulge in any shady operations of the airport, we want SIFAX Group to come with their technical expertise in the development of Bayelsa State”, Abah stated.
The managing director of the state owned investment company stated that he was impressed with the facilities and operations of SIFAX Group, that the state will benefit from Sifax expertise and capital war chest.
“After the tour of SAHCOL, we found out that the right partner we have been looking for is SIFAX Group. They have all it takes to develop the newly-built Bayelsa Airport. We also want to engage them in the development of the deep seaport located in Agge. The seaport with a natural draft of 13 meters, is aimed at boosting the business activities of the state,” Konyefa said.
According to him “After touring the facilities we are challenged at the homegrown logistics solutions that SIFAX Group has in its arsenal. We are engaging the company in varied business options that will be mutually benefitting to both the government and the company”.
BIPA was received during the visit by the Executive Director and Senior Special Assistant to Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Ezekiel Ajewole, who applauded the team for its choice of SIFAX Group as a business partner in the quest to develop the state.
Sifax Group Executive Director, Finance, Mike Owope, on his part stated that the innovative solution that will be provided by the group will accelerate the development of the state.