Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency NIMASA, has it needed to get approvals from the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission ICRC, which accounted for the slight delay in the operation of its modular floating dock. This is an indication that the facility, which is expected to save the country over $250million annually in capital flight spent in dry docking vessels abroad would soon be operational.

Director-General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who made this disclosure during a working visit to the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman at the NPA headquarters, Marina, Lagos, recently, said obtaining those approvals was part important preliminary conditions for the takeoff of the dry dock. He also noted that there was need to engage managing partners and the ICRC, which  is in charge of the mode of operations and Public-Private Partnership PPP arrangement associated with the operations of the facility.

He therefore assured maritime stakeholders that the modular floating dock was in the process of being deployed, having concluded operstional modalities with the NPA, which currently houses it at its Continental Shipyard in Lagos.

Jamoh stated: “I am here to affirm that the modular floating dock has come to stay. We have concluded arrangements for its deployment and operation. The date for its commissioning would be announced soon.

“We are also in the process of securing NPA’s Continental Shipyard for the floating dock, and getting approval from the Federal Ministry of Transport as well as the ICRC. Obtaining these approvals was one of the important preliminary conditions because of the need to engage managing partners and ICRC in terms of the PPP arrangement.”

Meanwhile, the MD of NPA, who spoke during the visit, stressed the need to promote the NIMASA local dry dock to the maximum capacity by placing the NPA’s Continental Shipyard at the agency’s disposal as a preferred location. She said NPA would go into an agreement with NIMASA on the handover of the authority’s dockyard, jetty locations, and warehouses within the area to facilitate the installation of the modular floating dock.

“We believe the floating dock is an integral part of the maritime sector and we like to commend NIMASA for starting this and NPA will continue to provide the necessary support as it relates to the aspect of our shareholding within the SPV being guided by the ICRC.

“As it is, NPA has confirmed and reiterated that it will support and hand over those facilities within the next few weeks to enable NIMASA to conclude the movement of the modular floating dock from the Naval Dockyard to the Continental dockyard. This is a very welcome development for the sector and we look forward to patronising and using the dockyard facility for our vessels and other vessels of government agencies.” 

In his response, Jamoh said, “You have heard from the MD of NPA, within the next few weeks the Continental Shipyard will be ready to house the floating dock. The second aspect is the issue of operation; we have obtained the approval of the ICRC and we have been directed to move to the Federal Executive Council.

“As far as we are concerned, the confirmation of certain aspects of the operations will be run concurrently. While we are seeking the Federal Executive Council approval, the issue of a managing partner will be considered and Expression of Interest will be published. So, we are good to go.

When fully operational, the NIMASA floating dock, which arrived Nigeria in 2018, is expected to provide a lot of benefits to the maritime industry, ranging from conserving foreign exchange, to providing employment and boosting indigenous capacity, developing shipping, and providing training exposure for students of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, and the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State.