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NIMASA awaits approval of Federal Executive Council to deploy N50bn floating dockyard

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said it is awaiting the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to enable deploy the long acquired N50 billion modular floating dock into operation.

Before deploying the floating dockyard, the agency which has obtained the consent of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to house the dockyard within the NPA’s Continental Shipyard in the next few weeks, said it would soon begin to search for a managing partner by publishing an Expression of Interest.

With the deployment of the floating dock, Nigeria would begin to save the estimated N36 billion yearly loss in capital flight due to lack of dry-docking facilities as Nigerian ship owners depends on countries for dry-docking their vessels.

When fully operational, the NIMASA floating dock, which arrived Nigeria in 2018, is expected to provide a lot of benefits to the maritime industry, ranging from conserving foreign exchange, to providing employment and boosting indigenous capacity, developing shipping, and providing training exposure for students of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, and the Maritime University, Okerenkoko.

Bashir Jamoh, director-general of NIMASA gave the update during a recent visit to Hadiza Bala-Usman, managing director of the NPA in the Authority’s headquarters in Marina, Lagos, as disclosed in a statement by Philip Kyanet, head, Corporate Communications of NIMASA.

During the visit, Bala-Usman stressed the need to promote the NIMASA’s dry-docking facility in order to the maximum capacity. She said NPA would go into an agreement with NIMASA on the handover of the authority’s the Continental Dockyard, jetty locations, and warehouses within the area to facilitate the installation of the modular floating dock.

“We believe the floating dock is an integral part of the maritime sector and we like to commend NIMASA for starting this and NPA will continue to provide the necessary support as it relates to the aspect of our shareholding within the Special Purpose Vehicle being guided by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC),” Bala-Usman stated.

She assured that the NPA will hand over those facilities within the next few weeks to enable NIMASA conclude the movement of the modular floating dock from the Naval Dockyard to the Continental dockyard.

“This is a very welcome development for the sector and we look forward to patronising and using the dockyard facility for our vessels and other vessels of government agencies,” Usman said.

Earlier, Jamoh disclosed that NIMASA is in the process of securing the NPA Continental Shipyard anchoring of the floating dock, and getting approval from the Federal Ministry of Transportation as well as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) before the dockyard could begin operations.

According to him, obtaining these approvals were important preliminary conditions, adding that there is also need to engage managing partners. He said that the ICRC is in charge of the mode of operations and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

He said that the Continental Shipyard will be ready to house the floating dock in the next few weeks, adding that the agency has obtained the approval of the ICRC.

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