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Expert laments inactivity of Nigerian ship repair yards


LAGOS – Capt. Saib Olopoenia, the President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), on Friday expressed concern that the few ship repair facilities in Nigeria had stopped operating.
Olopoenia told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that all the ports in the country had ship repair facilities, servicing their needs some decades ago.
He said the Lagos ports also had ship repair facilities at inception.
“In the ‘60s when the ports were coming up, all the ports in Nigeria had repair facilities.
“Go to Warri, go to Port Harcourt, go to Burutu, they had ship repair facilities.
“Over the years, most of these repair facilities have ran down; they are not working anymore, ‘’ Olopoenia told NAN.
He said that even the National Inland Waterways Authority’s repair facilities were no longer functioning.
“Even the Inland Waterways used to have its own facility in Warri and Lokoja for the repair of crafts, most of these facilities are down,’’ Olopoenia said.
According to him, insufficient ship repair facilities has made ship owners to start taking their vessels to other countries when they have to do dry-docking.
“This is the reason why majority of the ship owners have to go outside the country, sometimes to Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon when they need to dry-dock their vessels.
“It is so sad that for a country that has all endowments, we should still be taking our vessels to other countries for dry-docking because the ones we have are not working at optimal levels,” he said.
The mariner also wondered why the Continental Shipyard repair facility had been down and out of operation in spite of its potential to provide the services needed.
“For instance, the Continental Shipyard is a floating dock, but it has been down for more than five years now.
“That is a big percentage of the ship repair facility in Nigeria to help the country, but has been down for more than five years.
Mr Musa Iliya, Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), however, said that the NPA planned to revive the shipyard on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis as soon as it received investors. (NAN)

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