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Bakrie Delano earmarks US$500 million for Nigerian plantations

Bakrie Delano Africa, is to spend half of the company’s US$1 billion investment commitment in Nigeria on crude palm oil and rubber plantations

The company’s chief executive, Ladi Delano, announced the move recently in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Bakrie Delano is a joint venture of Indonesian conglomerate, Bakrie Group, and British-Nigerian businessman, Ladi Delano. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian government last year to invest $1 billion in the country over five years.

“The $1 billion investment will be disbursed gradually,” said Delano. “In its early stages, we will invest $500 million.”

Bakrie Delano director, Seng Hoo Ong, added that the company would also acquire plantation companies in Nigeria, which is a major palm oil and rubber producer.

Some of the money will go towards acquiring land but Ong stressed, “It will not be greenfield land.”

While he did not reveal how Bakrie Delano would finance the investment plan, he added that seeking funding from the capital market may be an option.

Delano said that the company would also invest in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria and explained his decision to partner with Bakrie.

“We need a group with a good track record from a country that is nearly the same as Nigeria,” he said. “In Nigeria, the major business is oil and gas, that’s why we need a partner who can diversify businesses in some primary sectors.”

Delano added that Bakrie Group’s investment in Nigeria would also create other investment opportunities in Africa.