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NIMASA upbeat to float redundant modular floating dock

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Segun Oladipupo The N50 billion modular floating dock acquired by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for the purpose of capacity building may soon be put to use as the management of the apex Maritime regulator says it is working hard to put the facility into use The Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated this in a chat with some journalists at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos on Thursday. Recall that the floating dock which arrived in the country since 2018, is yet to be deployed for the ship repairs purpose for which is acquired. The floating dock was acquired to boost the nation’s ship repair capacity and transform Nigeria’s maritime industry for wealth and employment creation.The Director General of NIMASA revealed that the facility is yet to be put into use because the necessary procedures are yet to be completed. He explained that the dock was first considered to be taken to the Niger Delta, but owing to the shallow draught of the channel and due to the commercial aspect of the floating dock, it was considered that the floating dock remain in Lagos , explaining that ship-owners may not have the confidence to go to the Niger Delta if the floating dock was there.The NIMASA boss explained that it took the agency eight months to convince the authority to give approval to commence the operation of the floating dock in Lagos, but said the agency is yet to get a location in Lagos where the floating dock can reside.Explaining why the agency jettison the planned arrangement to place the floating dock where the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) once had their own he said

“The position we want to put the modular floating dock, the same position about four years ago, NPA removed their own dead  floating dock, we came we saw the modular floating dock working  everybody knew the NPA modular floating dock was there standing, but today it’s no more due to the mismanagement of government resources.“We came here, we had a meeting with the former NPA MD, Hadiza Bala Usman, and we were contemplating whether the management that managed the NPA own can manage ours, I told her black and white they killed your own they can’t kill our own.“They destroyed the NPA floating dock and we said that this cannot be destroyed also, we learnt from that and we said lets go the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, that we will get a managing partner who has the experience and the technical knowhow and the wherewithal to bring customers.
” It’s one thing to have a floating dock, it’s another thing to have the confidence of the people to bring their ships there” he said.
The Director General informed that since he assumed office, the agency has been working on how to put the floating dock to use, discrediting reports that the floating dock is no longer working.“From the time I assume office till date, we have been working on the floating dock, the floating dock was built and there is installation, so when they built and brought it here, they ought to be installed, that installation part has not been done, it’s not that we are sleeping, we are doing so many things simultaneously, there are processes and procedures in putting the floating dock to use.“If the cranes are not working, you cannot work with the floating dock, so the first thing we did, was to call Damien the manufacturers of the floating dock and tell them that you deliver this floating dock and you did not install it, we   have to know the workability of the cranes, the engine because everything must be in place, and then above all, the floating dock is not a ship that is moving, you have to clip it”.The NIMASA boss stated that the agency had to temporary import equipment from Netherlands to come only to clip the floating dock
“As we are talking now, the dolphins that we are going to put for the clipping cannot be found in the country, in the whole Nigeria you cannot get the equipment that can put that dolphin into our own sea for you to clip the floating dock, so we have to do temporary importation of the equipment from Netherlands to come only purposely to put the dolphin and take it back to Netherland.“The second issue is the issue of location, the first thing that came was the issue of taking the floating dock to Niger Delta but we discovered that we don’t have the draft, secondly the issue of commercialization, people don’t have the confidence to go there and so many other things on this alone we spent eight months to convince the authorities to give us approval to commence the operation of this floating dock in Lagos.“As we are talking , I just came back from Abuja to get the consent and agreement of the people that they will give us a location where we can place the floating dock, till now we don’t have a location.“And remember this floating dock has been there since 2018 , nobody work it, nobody start it, nobody knows how it works, so we have to bring the Damien engineers, they came here several times from Netherland.
” we  have to bring the Israelis to come here and work with it, so it’s not that we are sleeping or delaying above all the modular floating dock is not something you can utilize it and give  anybody to kill.“So what we have is a floating dock that can repair ships, if you don’t have the integrity and the technical knowhow, nobody will bring their ship there.“So having done all that we have to go to the ICRC because it’s a procurement process, first they have to check whether the PPP arrangement you are coming into is doable, bankable or not, so we got the go ahead and they gave us certificate after that we have to go and develop business case on that, and you have to advertise, people must bid and then you select the best, after selecting ,then you develop business case everybody must know its shares and responsibility.
“After that we will now take it to the mother ministry, evaluate everything and take it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) because it’s now a public property and not NIMASA floating dock again.“The procurement cycle sometimes in this country you have to spend one year everybody knows that there is a problem with the procurement cycle, so we are looking for the best for the country at the same time we are working to see the modular floating dock works, working to see the appropriate place for where to put the floating dock, working hard to make sure that we have people who can handle it like a private entity we get our profit and send to the government.
“We shouldn’t take it to our own friends and cronies. Everybody that has investment should come and invest at a later date we will put it in the stock Exchange and it becomes a public property and everybody owns shares and manages it well” he stated.

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