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NIMASA, NPA commit to deploy billion naira floating dock

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman (5th left), the Senior Special Assistant to President on Public Sector Matters/Secretary, National Action Committee on Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), Francis Anatogu, other members of AfCTA and executives of NPA during the visit to the Authority’s headquarters in Lagos recently

Chidi Ogbuokiri

Left unproductive and gulping millions of dollars of nation’s scarce foreign exchange as running cost over two years the multi-billion naira modular floating dock was acquired by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Director-General of the agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said he has agreed with the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, to deploy the ship repair equipment at the NPA’s facility—Continental Shipyard, Apapa, Lagos.

Speaking during a recent visit to NPA headquarters in Lagos, Jamoh disclosed that the ship repair infrastructure which arrived in the country in 2018 would soon be deployed and put into use.

Jamoh said, “I am here to affirm that the modular floating dock has come to stay. We have concluded arrangements for its deployment and operation. The date for its commissioning would be announced soon.”

Speaking to the long time it has taken the agency to pout the facility into use; Jamoh recounted the process of securing the NPA Continental Shipyard for the floating dock, and getting approval from the Federal Ministry of Transportation as well as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), saying obtaining these approvals were important preliminary conditions “because of the need to engage managing partners and ICRC is in charge of the mode of operations and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.”

In her remarks, Bala-Usman stressed the need to promote the NIMASA local dry dock to the maximum capacity by placing the NPA’s Continental Shipyard at the agency’s disposal as a preferred location. She said NPA would go into an agreement with NIMASA on the handover of the authority’s dockyard, jetty locations, and warehouses within the area to facilitate the installation of the modular floating dock.

“We believe the floating dock is an integral part of the maritime sector and we like to commend NIMASA for starting this and NPA will continue to provide the necessary support as it relates to the aspect of our shareholding within the SPV being guided by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC),”Bala-Usman stated.

She added, “As it is, NPA has confirmed and reiterated that it will support and hand over those facilities within the next few weeks to enable NIMASA to conclude the movement of the modular floating dock from the Naval Dockyard to the Continental dockyard. This is a very welcome development for the sector and we look forward to patronising and using the dockyard facility for our vessels and other vessels of government agencies.” 

Responding, Jamoh said, “You have heard from the MD of NPA, within the next few weeks the Continental Shipyard will be ready to house the floating dock. The second aspect is the issue of operation; we have obtained the approval of the ICRC and we have been directed to move to the Federal Executive Council.

“As far as we are concerned, the confirmation of certain aspects of the operations will be run concurrently. While we are seeking the Federal Executive Council approval, the issue of a managing partner will be considered and Expression of Interest will be published. So, we are good to go.

When fully operational, the NIMASA floating dock, which arrived in Nigeria in 2018, is expected to provide a lot of benefits to the maritime industry, ranging from conserving foreign exchange, to providing employment and boosting indigenous capacity, developing shipping, and providing training exposure for students of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, and the Maritime University, Okerenkoko.

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