Kunle Kalejaye 16 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has hinted that it would deliver Africa’s fifth largest floating dockyard in 2017.
NIMASA’s Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, stated this during a project evaluation and inspection meeting with officials of Damen Shipyards and NIRDA in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
NIMASA initiated the project in 2013, but work started in 2014 before it ran into a hitch. The current leadership of NIMASA has revisited the project with the builders assuring it will be delivered next year.
Peterside, who was accompanied on the inspection visit by members of the National Assembly Committees oversighting NIMASA, observed that a modular floating dockyard of the kind NIMASA is building in Netherlands and Romania apart from boosting ship repair capacity has the potential to transform Nigeria’s maritime industry, generate wealth and create employment.
He said currently over 90% of vessels operating in Nigeria carry out their dry docking overseas, frittering away much-needed foreign exchange at great cost to the country.
Speaking at the project meeting, the Regional Director for Africa in Damen Shipyards, Harm Blaauw, said the company was proud to handle the project, which, in his words, is the most modern high-tech floating dock globally in recent times with capacity to dry dock several hundreds of vessels per annum.
Senator Ahmed Yerima, Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on the modular floating dock with a promise that the National Assembly by way of appropriation would assist NIMASA achieve its early completion.
Similarly, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, said he looked forward to early delivery in Nigeria and the floating dock going into operation soon.