Group Calls For Relocation Of Drydock To Niger-Delta

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Group Calls For Relocation Of Drydock To Niger-Delta

Abiola Seun

The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has charged the Federal Government to relocate the abandoned multi-million dollar Mega Dry Dock currently idling away in Lagos waters to the Niger Delta Region.

PANDEF, in alliance with United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS)  made the demand on the relocation of the dry dock at a special webinar meeting, organised on Monday in Lagos, to mark the 93rd birthday of the PANDEF Leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

Recall that the meeting was aimed at x-raying the Niger Delta economy after the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to the Niger Delta leaders, the dock, which is described as the largest in Africa, will be the ideal enterprise for President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate in the post-COVID -19 Nigerian economy.

They said that the dry dock, specifically designed for the region, had been lying unused in the Lagos waters.

The  Dry Dock, worth about 30m dollars in was imported by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in July, 2018. The ship repair facility has been floating unproductively  around Lagos waters, attracting a whopping eight thousand dollars daily in maintenance and docking fees.

A statement issued by Mr Tony Uranta, the UNDEDSS Executive Secretary and General Secretary of PANDEF, said that the benefits of the dock to the region would be immeasurable, considering the Maritime University in Delta.

“Relocating the Dry Dock project to the Niger Delta will be the biggest investment in the Niger Delta, post-COVID-19, and will open up the economy of the region,” he said.

It had urged NIMASA to abide by all the terms and conditions precedent to the acquisition of the dock, with a view to ensuring that it was put into operation in Okerenkoko.

The statement stated that the project was duly considered and approved by the Federal Executive Council at its 37th meeting on Oct. 23, 2013, adding that the approval was conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Transport on Oct. 29, 2013.

“The location of the dry dock to Badagry in Lagos State is contrary to the initial approval by the Federal Government for its location in Delta.

“Our appeal is that the dry dock be moved permanently, installed and inaugurated in Delta, considering the contributions of the region to the nation’s economy.

“The dry dock is lying fallow in the waters of Lagos State and should be taken to Delta, next to the Maritime University, to provide practical knowledge to the students.

“The dock, if located in the Niger Delta, will open up the region and make it more viable, including the employment it will generate and the trainings on ship building processes,” he said.

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