Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
Nigeria reached a huge milestone in efforts to increase local content in the maritime sector and save foreign exchange as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) welcomed its long awaited multi-million dollar floating dock in Lagos.
The N49 billion gigantic floating dock could conveniently serve as an enviable laboratory for those in naval architecture and ship owners, who may no longer need to travel abroad for practical training, as it houses a shipyard.
The NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, had earlier disclosed that the floating dockyard would arrive the country from The Netherlands and Romania before the end of June. Its arrival followed the berthing in January of LADOL’s multi-billion dollar Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit.
According to him, the aim is to save the country the huge capital flight from dry docking vessels abroad. He noted: “The issue of dry-docking of vessels outside the country and loss of foreign exchange will soon be a thing of the past.”
Expectedly, the floating dock will improve Nigerians’ skills in ship building and maintenance, and as well create employment for many citizens.
Though official statement on the vessel’s berthing was still awaited as at press time, the NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, confirmed to The Authority that the vessel has already arrived Lagos.