The acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, has said that there are no certified ship radio technicians and other experts required for effective ship repair and maintenance services in the country.
Koko disclosed this while speaking exclusively with SHIPS & PORTS at the NPA headquarters in Marina, Lagos, last week.
He said he learnt about Nigeria’s lack of certified ship repair and maintenance technicians when he accompanied the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on a visit to Greece recently.
Koko said Greek ship owners informed him and other officials on the trip that they do not service and maintain their vessels in Nigeria because of the absence of certified technicians and experts.
He said, “Greece also raised an observation that there were services in those days that are no more in existence in Nigeria. For instance, radio communication repairs; that there are no certified providers of those services. Cleaning of the vessels; there are no certified providers.
“But we told them it is a private sector business but I’m mentioning it here. The Greek lines are saying that there is none that has class. So, they said those services are no more available. Even their radio communication, let us assume they want to repair (their radio); when they get to Nigeria, there is no certified person. There could be people that can do it but they need certification (to be) in class. They really complained about that and I was surprised.”
He said the Greek ship owners assured him that they would be willing to repair and maintain their ships in Nigeria if the country is able to develop certified professionals and ship repair yards that can ensure their vessels remain in class.