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Nigeria Losing N21.5bn Annually To Neighbouring Countries’ Dock Facilities As N50bn NIMASA Floating Dock Rots Away At Naval Dockyard

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Four years after the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) acquired N50 billion modular floating dock, the asset has continued to decay at the Nigerian Naval Dockyard, Wilmot Point, Victoria Island, due to management’s willful neglect.

Since arriving Nigeria in 2018, the floating dock has  remained idle and abandoned with the management refusing to put it into use for once  contrary to the Federal Government expectation.

At inception, the government’s purpose for acquiring the asset was to boost the nation’s ship repair capacity and transform Nigeria’s maritime industry for wealth and employment creation.

But experts have said that Nigeria may be losing an estimated potential revenue  of over N21.5 billion annually to neighboring dock facilities with the abandonment  of the modular floating yard.

Regrettably rather than earning revenue for the country as originally projected, the floating drydock costs NIMASA a whopping N3.6 million in daily maintenance expenses and about $30,000 per day as berthing fees to the Nigerian Navy Holdings Ltd, according to the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES).

Analysts who spoke with Daily Sun said that Nigeria was losing about N16.5billion annually to neighbouring countries through the movement of its vessels dry-docking to meet the International Maritime Organisations’ (IMO) requirement.

A marine Engineer, Mr Effiong James-Anaye, said the floating dock is a waste of investment, with both previous and current management of NIMASA lacking the dexterity, visions to run the facility, stressing they appear confused about what to do with the floating dock. 

“The floating dock has been reported to be costing Nigeria over N100 million monthly in running cost without any economic benefit to the nation in return.

“What they told us then was that the floating dock was actually constructed to be taken to Okerenkoko. We were told the feasibility study and every other job was done and it was for that purpose it was acquired. But since then, the floating dock remains idle consuming money instead of generating revenue.

“The current management led by Dr Bashir Jamoh, has at different fora stated categorically that the agency has concluded plans to deploy the floating dock.

Early this year for instance, he assured stakeholders of the agency’s commitment towards putting the floating dock to use. He said stakeholders expect that before the end of the first quarter of 2022, the floating dock would be operational. But as we speak, the floating dock remains stationery and idle thus consuming the government’s lean resources rather than creating wealth for the citizens. Maybe they will deploy it tomorrow or next year. 

“The acquisition of the floating dock was a choice and bad investment. The man who took the decision in the first place to construct the dock was wrong to have done so, just like many other decisions. What supposed to be coming to Nigeria in terms of revenue in foreign exchange for ship docking is going to Ghana. We are use to talking but no actions,” he said. 

He said for instance, it cost between N45 million  and N75 million to dry dock a vessel, and that approximately, 200 to 300 vessels go to Ghana, Duala and Robins Bay for dry-docking annually, these vessels are supposed to dry docked here in Nigeria but the facility to do so is lying idle. 

(Daily Sun)

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