By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos – The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Thursday in Lagos said the agency’s floating dock would generate N1 billion monthly for the country.
Its Director-General, Dr Bashir Jamoh, made this known while presenting his achievements in his first 100 days in office.
According to him, the agency is also expecting huge influx of employment opportunities from the utilisation of the floating dock.
“Presently, the floating dock is at the Naval Dockyard and we are making everything possible to get it to the Continental Shipyard, when the Nigerian Ports Authority would have wound down its operation at the yard.
“Apart from the N1 billion naira monthly the floating dock will generate, we are expecting up to 350 staff engagement and these are the main workers.
“We have five segments comprising cadets in electrical, mechanical and each segment will provide employment for 75 persons.
“Additionally, the floating dock will be used for the sea time. For those who have the expertise in electrical and mechanical; they will be placed there to have their own time,” he said.
Jamoh noted that the agency would be signing a Memoradum of Understanding with all operators of oil and gas, to take their ship to the floating dock and would also be engaging with managing partner, to help manage the dock.
He pointed out that as at now, they are filing with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), to confirm and approve the Public-Private Partnership arrangement they want to embark upon.
“This is something that is like a cash cow and we are looking forward to full operations soon,” Jamoh said.
He noted that as regards piracy, the synergy they had with the Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Police Force had led to the arrest of 27 alleged criminals, who were now awaiting trial.
Jamoh highlighted lack of coordination and interfacing as the biggest challenge in maritime security, adding that the agency would be harmonising its security platform with that of the NPA and the Navy, to bridge this problem.
He noted that a review of the Cabotage guidelines had been concluded and would be endorsed for onward transmission to the Ministry of Transportation, for onward transmission to the Presidency.
“We are targeting that before October, there will be fast disbursement of the Cabotage Financing Fund,” he said.
Jamoh said the agency had achieved 85 per cent in its Deep Blue Project, saying that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic had stalled the deployment of the assets.
“We now have two special mission vessels; 14 out of the 17 fast-intervention vessels have been received. Also, 14 out of the 17 special armoured vehicles have been received.
“The C4i has been operational for over one and a half years and 24 hours in seven days.
“Two special mission aircraft are being expected in August and three special mission helicopters are being expected in January 2021,” he said.
Jamoh noted that as regards seafarers, the problem with the policy governing it was that it had structural defects which would be perfected, to avoid pitfalls and move forward.
He pointed out that presently, those who had left the maritime academy with good grades were given automatic employment.