A Floating Dock with Vessels
Excitement and satisfaction have filled the management and staff of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Agency NIMASA as its first of a kind multi-billion naira floating dock berths in Lagos port.
The floating dock is the fifth largest in Africa measuring 125m by 35m with inbuilt cranes, transformers and a number of ancillary facilities. It was built by one of the largest shipbuilding company in the world, Darmen of Netherlands and their partners NIRDA.
Dakuku Peterside of NIMASA
The floating dock project is said to have been initiated by NIMASA in 2013 but work actually started in 2014 before it was stagnated. However, the current leadership of the agency under Dr Dakuku Peterside intensified effort and commitment towards the project leading to the speedy completion of the vessel.
Giving an insight into the need for the agency to have a modular floating dock, the Director General of NIMASA had explained that the need to take advantage of the cabotage act currently operating in the country today couple. Also, the need to make the ships using the country’s seaports to invest in the country necessitated the acquisition of the dock.
A Modular Floating Dock
With the arrival of the much expected modular floating dock, cabotage vessels and other vessels patronizing Nigerian ports will be able to make use of the floating dock. They will find it convenient to maintain their vessels here rather than risking it out for repairs abroad.
This will impact greatly on the nation’s economy as scare foreign exchange would be saved as well as generating employment for thousands of youths and job seekers in the country.
Various stakeholders in the maritime industry have over the years lamented Nigeria’s inability to owned and operates her own dockyard claiming such lack was costing the country dearly.
The President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria SOAN Engineer Greg Ogbeifun said in an interview that Nigeria is losing over N180 billion to neighbouring countries due to lack of ship repair yard.
Floating Dock under Construction
This is a fact because according to the NIMASA Boss Peterside about 4000 vessels in Nigeria are participating in the cabotage trade and at least 5000 vessels entered the nation’s port annually. Yet most of them take their vessels outside the country for routine maintenance and repairs.
The consequence of this attitude is the loss by Nigeria of several millions of dollars annually. Therefore the new modular floating dock is set to reverse this ugly trend and set the nation toward a path of sustainability and efficiency in maritime services and help position the nation’s ports a centre of excellence and regional hub for Africa