By Sandra Chukwunyere

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said it is making adequate plans for the resucitation of the moribund Floating Dock. This is even as it noted that it would be operational by the first quarter of 2022 on Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh disclosed this in Lagos at a pressing briefing geared towards showcasing the agency’s achievements for 2021. 

A floating dry dock is one out of the five types of dry docks used for ship repairs. It is a submersible platform that is specifically designed and used to repair vessels. The NIMASA N50billion floating dry dock named “ MFDP NIMASA” was constructed in 2016 by Damen Shipyard.

According to Jamoh, the agency appreciates the agitation of the media on the issue, and will try as much as possible to update the nation on the status.

“The dock will not be solely operated by government or NIMASA. We have handed it for public private partnership. As usual, the issue of privatisation of any government property goes through processes, and the floating dock is undergoing those processes.

“The Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) was here to give us the first certificate, telling us that privatising the modular floating dock is bankable , doable and profitable,” he said.

Jamoh also noted that the agency has been given permission by the ICRC to continue with the privatisation. He said the agency had gone ahead to negotiate with the managing partner and the co-partner, Nigerian Ports Authority, that would give the agency continental shipyard for the floating dock.

“As I am talking today, officials of this administration are in Dubai to inspect the facilities of the managing partner and we expect in no distant future, maximum by middle of February, we should be able to get the final no objection. Privatisation of government property must be approved by the Federal Executive Council because it is a national asset” Jamoh noted.

The NIMASA DG pointed out that they do not know the plan of the former administration, but inherited the dock when they came in with no plan of where to install it. He said that when the agency wanted to channel it for use, they had a lot of challenges.

“We still believe we can take it to the final destination and the cost implication cannot be borne by the federal government alone. When we privatise it, the managing partner can decide and move it to the proper position it is supposed to be,” he said.

Jamoh noted that operationality of the floating dock was not a product that one could just walk up and pick like the key of a car. He said that they had invited foreigners that would check to see the dock was still in sound shape, the necessary services to be done, the parts and the class conditions to be taken care of.

The Director General stressed that the plan was to ascertain the true situation, so that when approval was gotten from the executive council, it would be in good shape and be moved to where it would be used.

The floating dock is a policy intervention, a huge investment by government, there is nothing lost here, the best thing is how to manage the investment to yield revenue and provide job opportunities for Nigerians. Jamoh also said NIMASA, NPA and the managing partner would work to ensure that the investment does not get wasted.

“We have so many countries coming to Nigeria with their vessels and they prefer to go to another country to repair their ships. We need these things to be done here and this will give us jobs and others,” he added.

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