Expert warns against purchase of scrap as ships

Capt. Peter Onwordi, the National Secretary, Nigerian Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors has urged prospective shipowners to seek professional advice before purchasing ships.
Onwordi made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said that beyond the unnecessary wastage in changing of parts in a scrap ship and expensive maintenance, such ships would inhibit steady trade.

``Professional advice is critical in buying a vessel. You are investing so much, not N1million, but at least 1 million dollars and if you know what that means.

``It is not to your advantage to just call a friend abroad to get you a vessel.

``Because he knows that you do not have the technical knowledge of what a vessel should truly have, he will just send you one of his scraps.

``It will be nice and wise for Nigerian potential shipowners to delegate one of the seasoned engineers from the recognised body to assist on a professional ground.

``The professional can give his candid advice about different vessels he has been able to check and this advice should cover the state of the vessel and the prices offered, ''
Onwordi said.

The marine engineer expressed concern that many shipowners only called in a professional after they might have made the costly mistake.

He noted that if precaution was taken to guide against this approach to ship purchase, a number of cadets could get opportunity of being trained on seatime.

``The dilemma begins after such shipowners brings in the vessel and wants to begin operations immediately.

``It is at this point they call in a seasoned engineer to do some checks.

``In a number of cases, it is found that the engines are actually bad; the generators are epileptic; leaking lube oil around and the hoses leaking too.

``Many times too, the sensors are corroded; and the engine seat also expired,'' Onwordi said.

He said the trend must be checked in order to truly develop the nation’s shipping sector and add value to the economy.