In a bid to attract large vessels into Nigeria and increase revenue for the federal government, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has acquired four tugboats at the cost of $30 million (N9.27).
The Tugboats named MT DAURA; MT UBIMA; MT UROMI and MT MAJIYA, were built by DAMEN Engineering, Netherlands under supervision of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and engine built by Roll Royce.
Speaking at the inauguration,Â Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, said the tugboats would help meet the aspiration of operators who had been complaining of inadequate tugboats for their operations.
She disclosed that the boats would be deployed for efficient delivery of towage services in the nationâ€™s pilotage districts
According to her, â€œThe tug boats will provide authority and avenue where we can tug in very big vessels because lots of our operators at the seaports have been concerned about the towage services but what we are providing with this new MT in addition to our fleet we will be efficient in delivering towage services in our pilotage districts.
â€œWe are looking to reconcile the crafts because we have 9 tug boats now and we will look at the requirement across the respective zones and deploy them accordinglyâ€, she indicated further, shedding light on their deployment to various zones.â€
Â Highlighting on the crafts acquisition, Hadiza said the effort actually began in 2015, and that the authority had patiently waited, because they were currently, the best in the world.
She said: â€œThe budget circle started since 2015, Â it was an ongoing procurement process because we budgeted and spent over $30million to procure this four tugboats. They are the best in the world and we have brought them to Nigerian market. So we believe they will enhance our maritime market within Eastern and Western zones of our maritime operations. The names of the crafts were chosen from towns and communities of Nigerian leaders. We identified towns and communities where leaders who have led this country came from; that is what led to the naming of the vessels.â€
In his speech, the Director- General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside said the acquisition of the vessels would help increase turnaround time of vessels in the nationâ€™s seaports.
Peterside who was represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Bashir Jamoh said NPAâ€™s determined efforts would go a long way in assisting government to realise its agenda and plug revenue leakages at a time the country is coming out of recession.
â€œNIMASA will soon take delivery of five largest modular floating dock on the African Continent. The dockyard would save the Federal government at least $100 million annually. We assure you and other government agencies of our commitment and continuous collaboration to make business activities thrive at the port,â€ he stated.