A new floating dock acquired at the cost of over N50 billion by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and which arrived the country on June 11, 2018 is currently lying idle at the Marina jetty, Lagos costing Nigerian taxpayers millions of naira daily.
Investigation by SHIPS & PORTS DAIILY reveals that NIMASA spends $10, 000 (N3.6 million) daily as running cost on the nearly useless floating dock, which was acquired at an inflated cost.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY had reported exclusively that one week after its arrival in Lagos waters on June 11, the floating dock could not berth as no arrangement was made for its arrival by ill-prepared NIMASA officials led by Dakuku Peterside.
The failure by NIMASA to secure a berthing space and deploy the multibillion naira floating dock to commence operation after it took delivery of the facility has again exposed the cart before the horse approach often deployed by the agency.
It is estimated that NIMASA has so far spent a whopping $500, 000 (N180 million) as cost for berthing the floating dock since its arrival to Nigeria on June 11.
A source at NIMASA who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on the issue described the cost implication in securing the dock as a colossal waste of the country’s resources.
According to him, the acquisition shows lack of planning and gross incompetence by the management of NIMASA.
“The building and delivery of the dock did not catch them unawares. If a private company is to deploy such facility, they would have planned and deployed it to be put into immediately use.
“The floating dock is at a private jetty in marina and it is costing NIMASA approximately $10,000 per day. This shows lack of planning of the present management.
“Even if we say the last administration paid for it, and the present management knew about it, couldn’t they have planned for it to know when it will be delivered than spending tax payers money and they have not told us up till now what they want to do with it.
“There is need to always put a round peg in a round hole by engaging those who understand the dynamics of the marine business who can put these things in place. The government has no business in running such operations. They should be providing the enabling environment for business to thrive not for them to get involved in marine business operation,” the NIMASA staff said.
When contacted, Head, Corporate Communications in NIMASA, Isichei Osamgbi, said the agency was still working to get the necessary approval for the floating dock commence operation.
He said, “The dock is in the Lagos shores. The government is working and we are still making consultation. It is public-private-partnership project so we are still going through all the necessary approvals and processes.”
When asked about the cost implication of securing the vessel, he said, “I wouldn’t know but we will be glad to put that together”.