By Aisha Cole
A floating dock and three barges disturbing navigation at Sapele port will be auctioned soon.
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, said the management had placed an auction notice.
Peterside made the disclosure on Tuesday during a tour by the management of NIMASA. of some of the agency’s facilities in Sapele in Delta state.
He said that though the floating dock and the three barges did not belong to NIMASA, the agency has been maintaining the barges and floating dock since 2006.
“NIMASA has placed many notices to get owners of the floating dock and barges to move them but no single response from anybody and the environment also contained scraped containers.
“By next week, the management will meet and come up with a quick solution to stop the environmental challenges in Sapele area,’’ NAN quotes Peterside as saying.
He said that, “The population of the NIMASA workforce in Sapele port is small and intends to boost the workforce.”
The NIMASA boss said that the management would ensure that members of staff of NIMASA in Sapele, work effectively for the agency to be on top of its core functions.
He said that Cabotage had become a priority to the agency because of its wider potential in creating employment for Nigerians.
Peterside stressed the need to engage youths to work in Cabotage vessels.
He said that it was important to derive more benefits from Cabotage law, adding that Nigeria was the first country in Africa to start Cabotage law.
“We will continue the drive to be the leader in Africa and for NIMASA, enforcement is non-negotiable.
“Because it is only from enforcement, one can derive the full benefits of Cabotage,’’ he said.
The Zonal Coordinator, Central Zone of NIMASA in Warri, Capt. Kunle Olaiwola, decried lack of working tools which was affecting the operations of NIMASA’s office in Sapele.
Olayiwola said that the office only worked with a Hilux vehicle which had been vandalised, adding that there were no adequate equipment and ICT tools to work with.
“We have many vandalised containers in this Naval base in Sapele.
“There are 350 pipes which are still good for use and many vandalised trucks at the water front.
“The depth of the water is about eight to nine metres; and a barge can carry about 2,600 tonnes of cargoes.
“The floating dock and barges are threats to the environment, ‘’NAN quotes Olayiwola as saying.
He said that though the floating dock had been anchored, “the environment needs urgent attention’’.
Olayiwola advised that NIMASA could upgrade the Naval Damage Control School and turned it into one that could award the Standard of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping (STCW) to assist Nigerian seafarers.
The Deputy Commandant, Nigeria Naval Engineering College, Sapele, Capt. Stop Ebe, urged NIMASA to rehabilitate the water front and convert it to a port for a concessionaire to manage, rather than being redundant.
He said that some containers were still locked with some goods in the port.
Mr Wilson Arantan, who manages P KUKU Maritime Service, urged NIMASA to evacuate the floating dock and the three barges to safe lives in the environment.
*Edited by Adeleye Ajayi