Maritime agency to deliver Africa’s fifth largest dockyard

Hauwa Mustapha, Abuja

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to deliver what will be Africa’s fifth largest floating dockyard in 2017.

The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside stated this during a project evaluation and inspection meeting with officials of Damen Shipyards and NIRDA in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Dr Peterside observes that the kind of modular floating dock yard which NIMASA is building is in Netherlands and Romania.

According to him, boosting ship repair capacity has the potential to transform Nigeria’s maritime industry, generate wealth and create employment.

Dr. Peterside explained that 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 that 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.”

Business case
The Chairman of NIRDA, Sabi Bar Noy stated that NIMASA made the right decision by embarking on the floating dock project, stressing 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.

Nigerian Senate Committee on Marine Transport, led by Senator Ahmed Yerima 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 will assist NIMASA achieve its early completion.

Similarly, the Chairman of the House Committee of Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Mohammed Umaru Bago said he looks 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 of work in line with the contractual agreement.

The modular floating dockyard measuring 125m by 35m with three 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, the current leadership of NIMASA is revisiting the project with renewed vigour given the impact on the industry.

The NIMASA floating dock project according to the builders will be delivered next year to Nigeria.