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Minister demands deployment of N50b floating dock within months

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo has charged the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to ensure prompt deployment of the N50 billion modular floating dockyard within months.

The Minister, while giving the charge, described the deployment of the modular dockyard as one of the low-hanging fruits in the sector, which will benefit Nigerians.

Responding, the Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, revealed that the deployment would support shipbuilding, repairs and recycling in the country.

According to him, this would assist indigenous shipowners in the disbursement of the much-awaited Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) as ships would now be built in the country to generate revenue.

He said both agencies are set to complete the operationalisation of the modular floating dockyard with the installation of dolphins and repair of dilapidated facilities at the NPA facility, where the floating dock would be operated.

Jamoh noted that NIMASA has completed the ongoing discussions with its managing partners and co-partners to provide the continental shipyard for anchoring the dockyard.

“Since we brought the floating dock, there is no space for us to keep it.

Three separate facilities would be needed; a shipyard that would warehouse the modular floating dock, a foundry that would convert the wrecks currently being removed all over the country into reusable materials and a dockyard that would use the recycled materials from the foundry to manufacture new vessels.

“The floating dock facility would give birth to three business conglomerates involving ship repairs, building and recycling. The modular floating dock is now giving birth to three additional major industries.

“This would now transform the issue of the CVFF disbursement that we have been looking forward to. We would have docked the facility in the last six months, but there is no point in deploying such a huge investment in a place where it would not be properly managed.

He said the agency is not targeting only Nigeria, but the entire Gulf of Guinea, as well as international ships coming into the region, as they would have to start using the facility.

Jamoh said with this, the agency would conserve resources that are used to repair vessels in Ghana and other smaller countries.

On his part, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammed Bello-Koko, said NIMASA already has the certificate of No Objection from the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), which is a good thing.

He said once all outstanding challenges at the NPA shipyard are sorted out, it would go to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval and would generate revenue as well as job employment for Nigerians.

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