The Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) has raised a fresh alarm over the controversial N50bn Floating Dock acquired by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in 2018, saying that the floating dock is becoming derelict and has been removed from the Lloyd’s Registers Class because it has not been surveyed for the past three years.
Speaking at a press briefing held in Lagos on Tuesday, President of AMES, Engineer Yinka Okunade, stated that, “Our attention has been drawn to the non-utilization of the Floating Drydock that was delivered in 2018 to NIMASA which is now laid up and wasting away at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos. The Floating Drydock is of Modular type constructed by DAMEN SHIPYARDS GORINCHEM of Netherlands in 2016.
“The purpose of this media briefing is to urge the Federal Government through the Minister of Transportation, to urgently direct NIMASA to either immediately put the facility into operation or hand it over to a marine engineering organization that specializes in ship drydock and repairs.
“The Floating Drydock which was built to Lloyds Register’s Class has not been surveyed since its delivery to Nigeria over three years ago. The Class has been withdrawn and the floating dock is now seriously becoming a derelict.
“A Floating Drydock is one of five types of drydocks used for ship repairs. It is a submersible platform that is specifically designed and used to repair vessels. It is a mobile facility that can be navigated to the location of a disabled vessel at sea, carry the vessel, and navigate back to base where the disabled vessel can then be repaired and restored back to service.
The Association of Marine Engineers & Surveyors (AMES) believes that the acquisition of a Floating Drydock was a sound decision by NIMASA, based on the drive to develop the maritime industry infrastructure. In fact, the acquisition and eventual operation of the Dock would solve the perennial dilemma faced by indigenous ship owners and ship operators in complying with the statutory requirement to drydock their vessels. In addition, this will generate employment in the maritime Industry.
“However, our findings have confirmed that the floating dock (MFDP NIMASA) is presently moored at the Naval Dockyard, in Commodore Pool, located at Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Dock is now three years at this location and rusting away, as a result of the treacherous sea-like weather conditions at the Naval Dockyard berth.”
According to our findings, the Floating Drydock cost about NGN50 Billion to acquire; over NGN3.6 Million in daily expenses, and US$30,000 per day as berthing charges to the Nigerian Navy.
“Why would NIMASA choose the Naval Dockyard and not the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), a sister agency which already has a dedicated berth for a Floating Drydock?
In the opinion of AMES, the mooring of the floating dock (MFDP NIMASA) at the Naval Dockyard is an avoidable wastage in terms of not only humongous expenses but the safety of the Floating Drydock itself, and the potential environmental pollution that may occur.
“Having been constructed in 2016 by DAMEN SHIPYARD, the MFDP NIMASA is now already due for its Renewal Class Survey, which has not been carried out, and as a result, the dock has been withdrawn from Class. By implication, therefore, the dock could not have been insured. Imagine an asset of NGN50 Billion without insurance?
AMES hereby wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the foregoing and to request an urgent directive to the Federal Minister of Transportation to do the following:
“Order NIMASA and NPA which are maritime agencies of the same ministry to synergize and commission the MFDP NIMASA into operation immediately.
“NPA already has a fit-for-purpose berth and back-up yard with workshop facilities at Apapa which is lying waste. NIMASA having already procured the Floating Drydock should take advantage of this already existing berth facility of NPA to put the MFDP NIMASA to immediate use.
Furthermore, the Floating Drydock should be handed over to a Marine Engineering company that specializes in Ship Repairs and Maintenance to operate it.”