The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that the agency is set to deliver what will be Africa’s fifth largest modular floating dockyard in 2017.
Dr. Peterside said this during a project evaluation and inspection meeting with officials of Damen Shipyards and NIRDA in Amsterdam, Netherlands last week.
The DG who was accompanied on the inspection visit by members of the National Assembly Committee on Marine Transport, observed that a modular floating dockyard of the kind NIMASA was building in Netherlands and Romania apart from boosting ship repair capacity had the potential to transform Nigeria’s maritime industry, generate wealth and create employment.
The DG said currently over 90% of vessels operating in Nigeria carry out their dry docking overseas fretting away the much needed foreign exchange at great cost to the country.
Speaking at the project meeting, the Regional Director for Africa in Damen, Harm Blaauw said the company was proud to handle the historic project which in his words, “is the most modern high tech floating dock globally in recent times with capacity to dry dock several hundreds of vessels per annum”.
Sabi Bar Noy, the Chairman of NIRDA said NIMASA made the right decision by embarking on the floating dock project and that the established positive business case supports the initiative.
He promised that NIRDA and its technical partner Damen would fast track the construction and delivery of the floating dock by next year.
Senator Ahmed Yerima who led some members of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport to Netherlands expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on the modular floating dock with a promise that the National Assembly by way of appropriation would assist NIMASA achieve its early completion.
Similarly, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, the Chairman of the House Committee of Maritime safety, Education and Administration said he looked forward to early delivery in Nigeria and the floating dock going into operation soon.
Members of National Assembly, some management staff of NIMASA and two classification societies overseeing the modular floating dock visited Rotterdam in Netherlands and Galati in Romania to assess the pace and quality of work in line with the contractual agreement.
The modular floating dockyard measuring 125m by 35m with 3 inbuilt cranes, transformers and a number of ancillary facilities is being built by one of the world’s largest ship building firms, Damen of Netherlands and their partners NIRDA.
NIMASA initiated the project in 2013 but work started in 2014 before it was stagnated, but the current leadership of NIMASA is revisiting the project with renewed vigor given the impact it will have on the industry.