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Expert laments inactivity of Nigerian ship repair yards

Capt. Saib Olopoenia, the President of the Nigerian
Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), has expressed concern that the few ship
repair facilities in Nigeria had stopped operating.

Olopoenia,
in an interview in Lagos said that all the ports in the country had ship repair
facilities, servicing their needs some decades ago.
He
said the Lagos ports also had ship repair facilities at inception.
“In
the ‘60s when the ports were coming up, all the ports in Nigeria had repair
facilities.
“Go
to Warri, go to Port Harcourt, go to Burutu, they had ship repair facilities.
“Over
the years, most of these repair facilities have ran down; they are not working
anymore, ‘’ Olopoenia told NAN.
He
said that even the National Inland Waterways Authority’s repair facilities were
no longer functioning.
“Even
the Inland Waterways used to have its own facility in Warri and Lokoja for the
repair of crafts, most of these facilities are down,’’ Olopoenia said.
According
to him, insufficient ship repair facilities have made ship owners to start
taking their vessels to other countries when they have to do dry-docking.
“This
is the reason why majority of the ship owners have to go outside the country,
sometimes to Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon when they need to dry-dock their
vessels.
“It
is so sad that for a country that has all endowments, we should still be taking
our vessels to other countries for dry-docking because the ones we have are not
working at optimal levels,” he said.
The
mariner also wondered why the Continental Shipyard repair facility had been
down and out of operation in spite of its potential to provide the services
needed.
“For
instance, the Continental Shipyard is a floating dock, but it has been down for
more than five years now.
“That
is a big percentage of the ship repair facility in Nigeria to help the country,
but has been down for more than five years.
Mr
Musa Iliya, Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs of the Nigerian Ports
Authority (NPA), however, said that the NPA planned to revive the shipyard on
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis as soon as it received investors.

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