Stakeholders urge NIMASA to partner NPA for gainful utilization of its floating dock

... Suggest more ways to make floating dock work

Industry stakeholders at the weekend called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) to partner the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) in order to effectively utilize its newly-acquired floating dock.
The stakeholders who spoke at an event in Apapa said it was needful for NIMASA to take a decision on putting the floating dock to use immediately than allowing the about N50 billion facility lay wasted at the Marina.

The stakeholders who were discussing the maritime industry issues said that partnering with the NPA would be the best option as it already has capacity for operations of the floating dock at the Continental ship yard.

They noted that the NPA floating dock at the  continental ship yard had not been operational for a long time due to technical issues, therefore making room for a new one to replace it if and when an agreement could be considered.

A stakeholder, who spoke on the ground of anonymity said that an option of leasing the NIMASA floating dock to Niger Dock would have been one to be considered, but that the Niger Dock already has an operational one.

A mariner told the gathering that several tug boats and other service boats would immediately patronize the floating dock if it started working, as they continually have need for maintenance, adding that some dry docking facility was too small to take in a vessel they had wanted to maintain.

Earlier, the  stakeholders suggested that NIMASA set up a panel of technical  experts to advise on the best operational use for the floating dock.

They condemned the acquisition of the facility by NIMASA, saying  that the agency should remain within its regulatory functions, even as one of them called for caution, recalling how a similar situation arose during Mrs. Kema Chikwe’s time as transport minister when one of the national shipping line vessels was left to waste and eventually sold as scrap.

In the light of the problem that we had with NNSL, there was one of the vessels  that was parked here for years and eventually it was sold as scrap when Mrs Kema Chikwe was Transport Minister.

They took the ship to America, Port State Control arrested the ship.  Instead of doing what the PSC wanted it to do  for months, eventually when they wanted to release the ship, it  sailed across without cargo and came here  for years. .. by the time the ship became a wreck, it was sold,” he said.

The stakeholders posited that a lack of proper planning regarding the floating dock would actually be costing the agency over $20,000 USD for daily maintenance since June 11, 2018 when the agency received the facility.

However, NIMASA had earlier assured that the floating dock would save the country capital flight when it begins its operations.