The dearth of openness in the procurement and deployment of the multibillion naira modular floating dock by Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).has set tongues wagging in the maritime industry and beyond.
This is coming on the heels of the absence of transparency in its purchase and deployment since its acquisition by the Federal Government parasatal over the years as stakeholders continue to pick holes in the way and manner it was purchased and deployed since its arrival in Nigeria’s waters.
This was a clear contradiction to the initial celebration that trailed the acquisition of the floating dock which was seen as a significant boost to Nigeria’s maritime infrastructure, aimed at enhancing the country’s vessel maintenance and repair capabilities in the West and Central Africa Sub-regions.
Stakeholders in the maritime industry have not ceased to pick holes on the whereabouts and management of the N50 billion floating dock which some experts have already expressed fears it might soon start to sink due to lack of maintenance.
Maritime Bits had reported that the management of NIMASA had severally promised to relocate and use it, but its promises and assurances remain mere empty words, fueling concerns about transparency and accountability within the agency.
It is on record that since February when NIMASA announced plans to move the dock to Continental Shipyard, Apapa, Lagos, the deployment is yet to take place as at press time.
Already, the refusal of the management of NIMASA to keep to its words has fueled doubts in some quarters on its sincerity and commitment to manage the floating dock in a cost effective manner.
While the management of NIMASA was not spared for its failure to do the needful in the effective deployment and utilization of the multi-billion naira floating dock, the stakeholders specifically slammed the immediate past Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh for not showing leadership in addressing all the anomalies associated with the floating dock.
To this end, the President of the Nigerian Ship Owners Association (NISA), Otunba Sola Adewumi has called for accountability and transparency within NIMASA as a way out.
On his part, the Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), Dr. Chris Ebare emphasized the need for specialized expertise in overseeing projects like the modular floating dock.
Ebare suggested a re-evaluation of NIMASA’s approach, just as he called for dedicated professionals to manage the asset independently of the agency’s leadership.
The former National President, Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, Engr. Matthew Alalade expressed concerns about NIMASA’s decision-making processes.
He called for what he described as “greater consultation” with stakeholders in the maritime industry just as he suggested the concessioning of the dock to well-known shipyards across the globe.
An employee of the agency who preferred anonymity for fear of victimization offered an insight into the fate of the floating dock in a chat with reporters in Lagos recently.
His words: “The challenges we face with the floating dock can largely be attributed to the previous leadership’s reluctance to heed expert advice which unfortunately has resulted in the asset becoming nearly outdated before being fully operational.
“The new Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dayo Mobereola has been thoroughly briefed about the current status and complexities surrounding the floating dock. He will be actively engaging with technical experts and stakeholders to expedite its deployment and ensure it operates at full capacity as swiftly as possible”.


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