The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has revealed plans to safe Nigeria $100 million annually as it is set to take delivery of the 5th largest modular floating dockyard on the African continent.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside stated this in a speech delivered at the ceremonial launching of four newly acquired 60 ton bollard pull tugboats by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Lagos last week, revealing that the dockyard would save the Federal Government of Nigeria at least, $100 million annually.
The Director-General who was represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NIMASA, Alhaji Bashir Jamoh noted that the amount would be direct savings from the dry docking of vessels operating in Nigeria, which are mostly done outside the country at the moment.
While commending the efforts of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman on the huge investment on infrastructure, the NIMASA helmsman opined that attention had before now always been placed in the recurrent expenditure in Nigeria, but with the advent of the current administration, focus had shifted to the capital expenditure which he added was the catalyst to economic growth and development even as he described it as a right step in the right direction.
“Infrastructural development is very crucial to the growth of the maritime sector and by extension the Nigeria economy. Particularly, now that the Federal Government is diversifying the economy in order to create more jobs and generate revenue, the efforts of the Management of the Ports Authority in Nigeria will go a long way in assisting the government realize its agenda and also help plug revenue leakages in this time that the country is trying to get out of recession.
“NIMASA will soon take delivery of the 5th largest modular floating dockyard on the African continent. This Dockyard will save the Federal Government of Nigeria, at least, 100 million dollars annually. This will be direct savings from the dry docking of vessels operating in Nigeria, which are mostly done outside the country at the moment. It is our desire to partner the private sector to run the dockyard. This and many more are the initiative the Agency is putting in place to better the fortunes of the Nigerian maritime sector.
Dr. Peterside also assured of his commitment to continue to collaborate with other sister agencies and parastatals in the maritime sector in order to realize the agency’s mandate of ensuring a safe and secured maritime domain for business activities to thrive and in line with global best practices.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman revealed that the Authority spent over $30million to acquire the vessels in a procurement procedure which started in 2015. She maintained that the acquisition of the new tugboats would ensure that NPA is more efficient in handling the big vessels that come to our boats.
According to Usman, the newly acquired tugboats are part of NPA’s modernization drive as the Authority intends to acquire more tugboats within the 2017 budget cycle.
She also commended the former NPA leadership which championed the acquisition of the new tugboats which she said would enhance the nation’s revenue as more vessels would be comfortable to patronize Nigerian ports.
In her contribution, the Managing Director of Ports and Terminal Operators Limited (PTOL), Mrs. Lizzy Ovbude admonished the Nigeria Ports Authority to deploy some of these new tugboats to the Eastern region to enhance maritime operations in the East.