The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has announced that it has begun moves to save Nigeria N8.7billion annual rental cost on fast intervention vessels, even as six fast intervention boats belonging to the agency has been refurbished.
In a tweet yesterday, the director-general of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, disclosed that his administration has rehabilitated the agency’s existing fast intervention vessels which were down and in a dilapidated condition when he was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 10, 2020.
According to him, when the platforms are eventually deployed for anti-piracy activities, it would save the nation huge rental cost on the current six fast intervention vessels.
The federal government through the federal ministry of transportation is proposing to spend a whopping N8.7billion for the rental of six fast intervention boats with which it hope to tackle maritime crimes.
In a memo dated July 2020, the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, proposed six companies that will be contracted to supply the boats and the firms are; Pearl H.P.W Limited, Thamson Energy Services Limited, Fairway Offshore Limited, Aquashield Oil and Marine Services Limited, XPO Marine Services Limited and Peace Marine and Energy Limited.
Also, before the current proposal on boat rental, a similar approval was granted for the same number of vessels, for same amount and for the same purpose in December 2018.
The call up points of the vessels are; Lagos – Badagry axis/Offshore which is allocated to Peace Marine and Energy Limited, Calabar – Eket axis Offshore allocated to Fairway Offshore Limited while Aquashield has its location at the Warri-Escravos Offshore.
Others are the Koko –Sapele axis Offshore operated by XPO Marine Services Limited, Onne – Bonny axis Offshore allocated to Pearl HPW Limited and Nembe- Brass-Yenagoa-Sagbama axis Offshore which is allocated to Thamson Energy Services Limited.
But, in the tweet, the NIMASA DG said the vessels would soon start operation even as he said that the agency tends to acquire additional platforms for security of the nation’s coastal and territorial waters.
The tweet reads, “#ProgressReport. We are reviving our vessels for enforcement purposes. When we came in, our boats & outgoing platforms were down; immediately sent them for drydocking at the naval dockyard. They will soon be fully back in service; saving us huge rental costs. Plan to acquire more.”