Maritime Editors, industry stakeholders demand explanation
By Kenneth Jukpor
Maritime stakeholders have demanded an explanation on the N4.2billion expended by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as berthing charges on its Floating Dock berthed at Naval Dockyard, in the last nine months.
On June 20, 2020, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh told journalists that the agency had concluded plans with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to move the floating dock to NPA dockyard and gainfully utilize the facility.
Surprisingly, nine months after, the floating dock remains docked at the Naval Dockyard accruing $30,000 per day as berthing charges and another N3.6million additional daily expenses.
The Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) revealed that NIMASA spends N3.6million in daily expenses; and $30,000 per day as berthing charges to the Nigerian Navy, which amounts to N4.2billion since Jamoh’s assurances in June, 2020.
Worried by this development, the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers (LOMEP) has called for an explanation from the NIMASA Director General on the continued expenditure on berthing at Naval Dockyard for the floating dock.
The President of LOMEP, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke argued that there shouldn’t be institutional or procedural limitations detering the NIMASA Director General from moving the floating dock since June, last year.
“Our concern is that this floating dock won’t leave the Naval Dockyard because some political and industry bigwigs are making money from the current situation. The NIMASA Director General can’t claim to be oblivious of the limiting factors and he should explain the underlying issues and cost implications to industry stakeholders,” Anaroke said.
Jamoh had assured the industry of a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement to site the N50 billion floating dock at the Continental Shipyard Apapa, Lagos, expected to generate about 500 jobs and N12billion in a year.
MMS Plus also recalls an interview https://mmsplusng.com/blog/why-nimasa-n50bn-floating-dock-hasnt-been-operational-dakuku/, where the former Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said NIMASA had finalized arrangement with NPA to have the floating dock berthed and operational at the Continental Shipyard.
“When the floating dock left for Nigeria, we thought we could get the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to berth at the Continental Shipyard. We didn’t realize that the Continental Shipyard had already been restructured via Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. The private partner didn’t give us the kind of cooperation we asked for.”
“We had taken it for granted that we would get that agreement to utilize the Continental Shipyard because we had initiated negotiations with them. We had a lot of technical Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to sign and operational MoUs to sign. There were lots of issues; but the good thing is that we have addressed these issues and the floating dock would be commencing operations very soon,” Dakuku said few days before exiting NIMASA.
The veteran media group also expressed worry that the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) may suffer negligence under the current NIMASA leadership, following the incessant trend of Presidential approvals for the CVFF disbursement.
Also speaking on the development, the President of Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Mr. Frank Ogunojemite described the fate of NIMASA floating dock as a flagrant waste of Nigeria’s scarce resources.
“We expected the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who has over two decades experience at the agency, would have stopped this extortion as soon as he became Director General. How do we explain that a facility bought for a commendable purpose in the industry is not only abandoned, but it has also become a conduit pipe to siphon billions of naira? This is appalling,” he told MMS Plus.
AMES, however, urged the Ministry of Transportation to order NIMASA to put the floating dock into operations or hand the facility over to a Marine Engineering organization that specializes in ship drydock and repairs.
“The Floating Drydock is of a Modular type constructed by DAMEN SHIPYARDS GORINCHEM of Netherlands in 2016. The facility, which was built to Lloyds Register’s Class has not been surveyed since its delivery to Nigeria over 3 years ago. The Class has been withdrawn and the floating dock is now seriously becoming a derelict. By implication, the dock couldn’t have been insured. It’s a N50billion asset with insurance,” the group said in a press conference, yesterday.
Stakeholders have also queried the additional N3.6million daily fees on the floating dock which is different from the $30,000 daily berthing fee, asking NIMASA to explain the difference.