- As Naira down to N391.9 in parallel market
YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman today gave service delivery a significant boost as she commissioned state of the art buller- pull tug boats with fully computerized engines, to meet their increasing yearnings.
The tug boats that was acquired at the rate of $30million (N5.7billion at prevailing rate of N190/$) are expected to meet the needs of the Eastern and Western zone terminal operators at the nation’s seaports.
The Tug boats named MT DAURA; MT UBIMA; MT UROMI and MT MAJIYA were built by DAMEN engineering, Netherlands under strict supervision of International Maritime Organization (IMO) and engine built by Roll Royce.
Speaking at the commissioning, the Managing Director, NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman said the tugboats which were procured at $30million would help meet the aspiration of operators who had been complaining of inadequate tugboats for their operations.
She disclosed that the crafts would be deployed for efficient delivery of towage services in the nation’s pilotage districts
Her words, “The tug boats will provide authority and avenue where we can tug in very big vessels because lots of our operators at th seaports have been concerned about the towage services but what we are providing with this new MT in addition to our fleet we will be efficient in delivering towage services in our pilotage districts.
“We are looking to reconcile the crafts because we have 9 tug boats now and we will look at the requirement across the respective zones and deploy them accordingly”, she indicated further, shedding light on their deployment to various zones.
Highlighting on the crafts acquisition, Hadiza said the effort actually began in 2015, and that the Authority had patiently waited, because they were currently, the best in the world.
“The budget circle started since 2015, it was an ongoing procurement process because we budgeted and spent over $30m to procure this four tugboats”
“They are the best in the world and we have brought them to Nigerian market. So we believe they will enhance our maritime market within Eastern and Western zones of our maritime operations”, she explained, adding that the names of the crafts were chosen from towns and communities of Nigerian leaders.
“We identified towns and communities where leaders who have led this country came from; that is what led to the naming of the vessels.”
Speaking earlier, the Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside said the acquisition of the vessels would help increase turnaround time of vessels in the nation’s seaports.
Peterside who was represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Bashir Jamoh said NPA’s determined efforts would go a long way in assisting government to realise it’s agender and plug revenue leakages at a time the country is coming out of recession.
“NIMASA would soon take delivery of five largest modular floating dock on the African Continent. The dockyard would save the Federal government at least 100 million dollars annually.”
“We assure you and other government agencies of our commitment and continuous collaboration to make business activities thrive at the port”, the NIMASA chieftain concluded.
In the meantime, the Naira yesterday depreciated to N391 per dollar in the parallel market due to increased demand. Vanguard’s market survey revealed that the parallel market exchange rate which closed N385 per dollar last week rose to N391 per dollar yesterday.
Market operators however expressed optimism that the Naira will appreciate today once the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) delivers the $20,000 bi-weekly sale to bureaux de change today.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has urged Nigerians to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its activities to diversify the economy, just as it commended efforts of the bank towards resuscitating the nation’s ailing economy.
Rising from its 2017 biennial convention in Lagos attended by over 350 editors of media outlets in the country, the guild said efforts of the Federal Government at diversifying the economy are commendable.
The guild commended the CBN for its intervention in the forex market, which it noted not only moderated the exchange rate but also halted the rising inflation in the country.
The editors, in a seven-point communique signed by the re-elected President, Funke Egbemode and Secretary-General, Victoria Ibanga, also expressed their support for the CBN’s leading role in advancing patronage for made-in-Nigeria goods.
The guild therefore urged all Nigerians to support government the bid to exit the economic recession, which they said has affected all, including the media industry.
In spite of current challenges, the guild admonished the media to intensify efforts in promoting government’s policies on economic diversification.
Additional report from Vanguard