Segun Oladipupo |
The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association has bemoaned the continued idling of the multi-million naira modular floating dock purchased by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over a year ago.
The association however advised the management of NIMASA to concession the floating dock to Nigerdock Nigeria Limited for optimum utilisation.
The group of seafarers said that by so doing, the floating dock would be put into use to build capacity for cadets and also generate revenue for the Federal Government.
The floating dock which has been under the Nigerian Navy has been undergoing daily maintenance without any form significant use to the maritime industry.
Speaking on the development, the National President of the Union, Engineer Matthew Alalade called on government to concession the dry dock to Niger dock Plc, saying it would help in revenue generation and boost human and manpower development of maritime stakeholders.
Alalade lamented that the dry dock in naval custody is asset that must not be allowed to rot away when millions of Nigerians are jobless.
The seafarers boss reiterated that the modular floating dock has the capacity to employ thousands of unemployed youths adding that the equipment, if transferred to Nigerdock company would turn around the fortune of the maritime industry.
According to him, “Nigeria is losing millions of naira annually to foreign shipyards due to vessels constantly leaving the country to look for docking facilities in faraway countries such as Togo and South Africa but I believe if we concede the dry dock to Niger dock then things will certainly take shape for the betterment of the industry”.
Secondly, the union boss stressed the need for NIMASA to transfer the facility to Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron in Akwa Ibom State for cadets to get first-hand knowledge about practical orientation.
He affirmed that the floating dock has what it takes to enable Nigerian cadets compete with their foreign counterparts if well managed.
Alalade added that cadets from MAN Oron would gain from the government owned facility without additional cost to their educational prowess.
He further appealed to the government to effectively make use of the floating dock towards promoting Nigeria maritime potentials to the international community.
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