Mr Alex Egenti, the Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Shipping and Marine Services Ltd., on Thursday suggested a proper monitoring of ongoing wreck removal project in the nation’s territorial waters.
Egenti made the suggestion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said there should be proper monitoring of the wreck removal project to produce satisfactory works.
Egenti said government had sunk “huge’’ amount of money into the project.
According to him, before now, government has been setting aside budgets for removal of wrecks but the situation is that most of these wrecks are not removed and government keeps paying for it.
“If you remove the wreck, government will pay for it; if you don’t remove the wreck, government will not pay you,’’ he said.
Egenti said the nation’s maritime industry “ will experience remarkable improvement if such project (wreck removal) monitoring is replicated in all areas of the sub-sector’’.
He said, “Nigeria, being a huge maritime nation, could only maintain a hub status when projects are handled professionally to meet the needs they are designed for.’’
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in 2009, got the Federal Government’s approval to remove wrecks from the nation’s waters at a cost of N3.4 billion.
Twenty four of the wrecks were deemed highly critical to navigation around Nigerian waters.
Surveys conducted in the Lagos waters before the commencement of the project, showed that more than 100 wrecks were lying in different locations along the channel.
Out of the 31 wrecks considered very critical to navigation, NIMASA is working on seven.
The practitioner called for proper monitoring of other ongoing projects in the shipping industry to achieve set goals.
According to him, infrastructure development in the maritime industry should be facilitated and brought to a conclusion.
He also said the perennial problem of traffic gridlock on Apapa/Oshodi Expressway leading to the Lagos ports should be addressed.—Ships and Ports