By Chiazo Ogbolu
Mr Joseph Ororo, General Manager, Marine, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), on Thursday said Nigeria was making progress in boat building.
Ororo said this at the virtual Maritime Business roundtable meeting on Ship Building and Repairs.
He added that ship building needed to be regulated to maintain standard so that it would be adopted for world class classification.
He pointed out that most of the vessels acquired by the Authority were built locally, adding that it had also built a pilot boat locally to encourage the industry.
“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 counter productive and so we need to go back to the days of Nigerdock building ship,” he said.
He said anything that was not regulated could not make meaningful progress.
According to him, ship building 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 purpose of regulation is to set standard and this will ensure the sector has clients from outside the country,” he said.
Also, Mr Augustine Imhomoh of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), while speaking on ways the agency would aid ship building and repairs, noted that the NIMASA floating dockyard was key for ship repairs.
He added that Nigeria would welcome any form of arrangement with the Namibia Drydock and Ship Repairs (PTY) Ltd (NAMDOCK) to help establish ship building 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 ship building, Public-Private-Partnership and establishment of maritime funds meant for the promotion of ship building 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. (NAN)