The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has revealed that the N50bn floating dock acquired by the agency is trapped at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos, and that the craft consumes about $30000 daily.
It added that it is now almost impossible to get floating dock to its destination in Delta state, owing to several bottlenecks.
Recall that since the floating dock arrived in Lagos in June 11, 2018 it has been lying idle at the Naval dockyard.
Answering a question on Friday on the state of the floating dock, the executive director in charge of operations at NIMASA, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin informed that the initial plan was for the floating dock to berth at Okerenkoko in Delta state, but due to lot of survey advising to the contrary, the agency was forced to review all the reports and take a decision that would serve all interest in the shipping community.
Fashakin further informed that the floating dock project was inherited by the Dakuku-led administration.
According to him "Initially when the floating dock was acquired, the design was for it to berth in Delta State. But even at that time, there were a lot of reports advising to the contrary, there were lots of surveys advising to the contrary, these reports are still there till date. When we got here, we were forced to review all these reports and take a decision that we think would serve all interest in the shipping community.
"The floating dock was not conceptualized by the Dakuku Peterside administration; we only inherited it just like the Buhari administration inherits projects and goes ahead to actualize it.
"Indeed, the floating dock was supposed to go to Okerenkoko in Delta State, but the conditions that exist now, for the dock to get to Okerenkoko now is almost impossible, a dock is supposed to serve the shipping community as a commercial facility, but which company or vessel would be bold enough to travel to Delta State because of the insecurity
"When the dock landed in Nigeria, there were various state governments that requested for it, all these are on record.
When it came in, we thought of many ideas, first is to get an operator to operate it, but this is a government asset and not something you can just give to an operator, NIMASA is a regulator and not an operator, so giving the dock to an operator also needs to go through the bureaucracy of government.
"The other thing was getting a place to berth it, if you know the complexity of a floating dock, the draft that you need to keep it and operate it is 12 meters."
He further informed that the contractor was spending over $30,000 monthly to keep the dock afloat for several months with the agency having to pay demurrage running into multi million naira
"The contractor was spending over $30,000 keeping the dock afloat for many months and we had to pay many months demurrage on that.
"Eventually we reached a situation where we had an agreement with the Naval Holdings Limited, a sub-sect of the Nigerian Navy to keep the dock
We are still looking forward to having a formal MoU which we would have an operator operating the floating dock.
"The Navy also has a graving dock, the initial report shows that if that floating dock is operating as it is, it would imperil the graving dock, so the Naval Holdings Limited suggested another spot where we could use it, a consultant was asked to assess the spot, the report of the consultant is out, we would need to do some dredging at that spot where we can now operate the floating dock”, he said.