Not less than 800 Nigerians have been employed as full time staff members by a dredging firm, Lagos Channels Management Company Limited (LCM).
The employees, who have undergone several trainings within and outside the country at the company expense, have been deployed to different aspects of the company operations.
The firm, which was set up by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in collaboration with some foreign investors on the basis of 60 per cent to 40 per cent equity participation, disclosed this at an industry roundtable with maritime journalists in Lagos.
The round table was organised by Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) at its International Press Centre, Apapa, Lagos.
LCM Head of Human Resources, Prince Falade Oyekan, who represented the Managing Director, Mr. Danny Fuchs, at the roundtable, said the staff members run shift on a daily basis.
On the prevalence of wrecks and derelicts in Nigerian territorial waters, he said some unscrupulous ship owners deliberately dump their old vessels along the channels in the disguise of waiting for repairs and subsequently abandoned them.
Apart from pollution, he said the menace of ship wreck dumping in the country posed danger to safe navigation in the nation’s waterways.
THISDAY had reported that apart from dredging the Lagos channels through which ocean going vessels access the nation’s seaports located in Lagos to a depth of 13.5 metres, not less than 29 wrecks considered critical have been removed by the firm.
Hitherto, the depth of the channel was between seven to nine metres, making it difficult for some ocean going vessels to berth in Nigerian ports. The wrecks and derelicts have over the years constituted danger to life and property in Lagos waters, just as safe navigation has become a nightmare.
Besides dredging and removal of wrecks and derelicts along the Fairway Buoys, LCM also operates a marine operation centre (MOC) where data is processed and given out to needy concerns.