Dr. Peterside, DG., NIMASA

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has said that the on-going construction of the multi-billion dollar Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading FPSO project will increase its knowledge base as a safety Administration, thereby enhance its regulatory capacity.

The FPSO platform, which is currently under construction by Samsung Heavy Industries SHI, in South Korea, is expected to arrive Nigeria in August, this year.

The FPSO is being constructed for deployment in the Egina oil field, located 150km off the coast of Nigeria.

The field is currently under development and production is scheduled to begin in 2018 and when completed, the Egina Field is expected to add 200,000 barrels per day to the National oil production by 2018.

Director General of the agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, who made this known, spoke during a meeting with the Executive Vice President of Samsung, Mr. Younsang Won, representatives of Total Nigeria and  the Vice President in charge of Egina project, Yongho Jo.

The meeting was part of activities lined up for the DG during a working visit to inspect the project at the Samsung Shipyard in the Samsung Heavy Industries in Geoje, South Korea.

According to him, the project which he described as unprecedented in the history of Nigeria, will increase the knowledge base of the agency and ultimately earn the country the much needed foreign exchange.

“This project is the first of its kind in Nigeria; it will increase NIMASA’s knowledge base, especially in terms of inspection techniques, certification and rules for maintaining classification ultimately to the benefit Nigeria’s economy, especially in the area of foreign exchange needed to drive the expected growth and development of the economy”.

“This is a mega offshore project that will bring out the best in us, let me assure you that we will discharge our responsibility as the facilitator of maritime business in Nigeria and ensure that our maritime domain remains safe and secure for this kind of projects, we will give both Samsung and Total Nigeria necessary support to actualize the Egina FPSO project for the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians ” the DG said.

He however assured Total and other prospective investors that the agency would continue to create a conducive environment that would boost investors’ confidence with a view to coming up with projects of this nature that would create jobs and enhance wealth creation.

The DG also commended Samsung and Total oil for having faith in Nigeria and its effort to comply with Nigerian content law.  He particularly commended Samsung for having NIMASA Surveyors on ground at South Korea to work with world class classification societies on the project which will make certification and passage of the project easier and faster.

He further charged the Executive Vice President of Samsung to ensure compliance to the Cabotage Act and other relevant enabling in Nigeria, particularly when the FPSO platform gets to Nigeria. The NIMASA-boss also disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria is working hard to provide conducive business environment in the country and therefore urged prospective investors to take advantage of that.

Meanwhile, Mr. Younsang Won, in his response promised the visiting NIMASA boss that the project will be ready for movement to Nigeria in August.

He assured that the quality of the project will bear the mark of excellence associated with Samsung Heavy industries, while promising to comply with local laws in Nigeria and do all within his powers to work with locals to build capacity in offshore projects industry.

Recall that in line the ongoing reforms in Nigeria’s maritime industry initiated by NIMASA, the agency is billed to take delivery of a floating dock, the 5th largest in Africa which is expected to ensure that vessels in need of dry docking would no longer go out of the country for such services, thereby checkmating capital arising from the absence of such facilities in the country before now..