… As NIMASA intends to utilise floating dock as a tool for Industry development***
National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), General Manager, Marine, Mr Joseph Ororo on Thursday assured that NIWA would leave no stone unturned, towards ensuring that Nigeria attains greater height in shipbuilding and ship repairs.
Ororo stated this at the virtual, Zoe Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast meeting on Ship Building and Repairs, even as he stressed that shipbuilding needed to be regulated to ensure adherence to global standards, and meet world class classification demand.
Pointing out that NIWA was already in the lead for championing progress in boat building, Ororo unfolded a number of boats presently acquired and in use, aside from those under construction, all procured locally from indigenous builders; one of them, a pilot boat.
“There are some levels of boat and barge building in the Niger Delta region but unfortunately, it is not regulated, no standard procedure, nothing, and this has to stop.
“If Nigeria builds below standards, or not approved by classification specifications, it will be counterproductive and so we need to go back to the days of Nigerdock building ship,” he said, praising Nigerdock. He also grieved that the Nigerdock was unexpected, losing steam.
“NIWA is supporting local shipbuilding by ensuring that almost all vessels we acquire as an Authority are built in-country”, indicated Ororo.
Stressing that NIWA’s Regulatory role must not be diminished or compromised, the NIWA General Manager argued that said anything that was not regulated may not make meaningful progress.
According to him, shipbuilding and repairs is still in the infancy stage in the country because it has not been regulated as it ought to be.
“Regulation of the sector is not to make money but to lead to improvement, acquire skills and technology that will help the industry.
“The intent of regulating the shipbuilding /repair sector is to standardized the quality of ships, set standards and ensure that financial and technical assistance is extended to operators. it’s not necessary for revenue generation for government but to guarantee greater generation of revenue for the investors!
“The purpose of regulation is to set standard and this will ensure the sector has clients from outside the country,” he pointed out further.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr Augustine Imhomoh of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), assured the agency was willing to aid shipbuilding and repairs, noting that the NIMASA floating dockyard was already a key for ship repairs.
“NIMASA intends to utilise the floating dock as a tool for Industry development”, Imhomoh explained.
He added that Nigeria would welcome any form of arrangement with the Namibia Drydock and Ship Repairs (PTY) Ltd (NAMDOCK) to help establish shipbuilding and repairs in the country.
“The acquired floating dockyard by NIMASA meant for ship repairs will also generate employment opportunities, build human capacity, help the maritime image if the country and also reduce capital flight.
“NIMASA is also encouraging joint venture for shipbuilding, Public-Private-Partnership and establishment of maritime funds meant for the promotion of shipbuilding and repairs in the country,” he said.
In his contribution, Commodore Michael Igwe of the Naval Dockyard, pointed out that Nigeria had not domesticated its classification body as they still go outside to get approval.
He added that they do fabrication locally but desired to have an opportunity to construct merchant vessels in the country.