Enterprise Television- NIMASA Floating Dockyard to Save Nigeria N36 Billion Annually- Dakuku
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said the multi-million dollar floating dockyard which arrived the country recently will save the country about N36 billion annually in capital flight once operational.
Dr. Peterside, who made this known in Lagos, on Wednesday, said the facility which would be operated on a public private partnership model would be located at a facility of the Nigerian Navy.
He also said efforts were being made to create an enabling environment for the growth of indigenous participation in shipping.
The NIMASA DG said the floating dockyard would commence operations immediately after its commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added that when fully operational, Nigerian ship owners and their foreign counterparts would no longer need to take their vessels outside the country for dry docking.
According to him, “Nigeria loses up to $100 million annually simply because when our ship owners need to dry-dock their vessels, they mostly take them to neighbouring countries like Ghana and Cameroun, thus spending avoidable forex.
“When this facility is fully operational, it has the capacity to dry-dock any vessel in the country and save the much needed foreign exchange.”
Dr. Peterside noted that the facility would be operated in conjunction with the builders as technical partners.
He also assured that it would create thousands of jobs for teeming Nigerian youths as well as provide training opportunities for seafarers, adding that the NIMASA floating dockyard would also be available as a training facility for the students of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, and other maritime institutions in the country.
He said “We are planning to ensure that the permanent location of this facility would benefit our students for training, and we have also engaged the builders to manage the facility for a one-year period at a naval facility while further arrangements are being worked out.”
Speaking on other issues, he said the agency was working on a special foreign exchange intervention for vessel parts acquisition and loan repayment processes to enable indigenous operators compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
The NIMASA DG added that there was a team working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on how best this policy could be implemented.
He said this was aside working towards the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) which would give room for a full-fledged Cabotage regime with more job opportunities created.
Commenting on the agency’s Survey, Inspection & Certification Transformation Programme, Peterside disclosed that 3,752 Certificates of Competency (CoC) were issued in 2017 to successful seafarers, representing a 149% increase from the CoCs issued in 2016.
He noted that the impact of this was the confidence of stakeholders who now willingly verify certificates without prompting.
He further informed that a total of 1,880 certificates were authenticated for stakeholders in 2017 alone, a significant rise when compared to the 1013 CoCs verified in 2016.
The NIMASA DG further informed the public that the number of Nigerian seafarers placed onboard vessels from January to June this year was 2,337, representing 58.9% increase in the number of seafarers employed.
He stated that this move had led to job and wealth creation in line with the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
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