B & Q Attributes Achievements to FG’s Local Content Policy

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Gilbert Ekugbe

An indigenous dredging company, B & Q Dredging Limited has extolled the federal government’s local content policy for the landmark achievements it has recorded in the country, noting that the policy had made B & Q the preferred dredging company in Nigeria despite stiff competition in dredging operations from foreign competitors.

The Operations Manager, B & Q Dredging Limited, James Okeati, at the first edition of the Nestoil Group Media roundtable in 2022, disclosed that with the success recorded by the company from its operations in the Second Niger Bridge project in Anambra/Delta state, Elegushi and Eletu axis in creating a new city in Nigeria’s commercial center Lagos, it is ready for expansion into newer markets.

According to him, its expertise and capacity built over the years and encouraged by local content laws has made some of the national economic projects it undertakes come from referrals made by satisfied clients.

Okeati based this on the dredging firm’s contribution towards creating a new viable city that will expand the country’s revenue base with the land reclamation projects in Elegushi it completed six months ahead of schedule, noting that Eletu, an ongoing three-year project which it intends to complete ahead of schedule with its massive investments.

He added that upon completion of the land reclamation, Eletu will be similar to the Eko Atlantic project.

The Elegushi land reclamation project, he said, came from the referral gotten from the excellent execution of their lot, six months ahead of schedule in the 2nd Niger Bridge construction, one of the most important infrastructure projects that will connect the most economically active regions of Nigeria.

Okeati said the company beat other top firms in getting the projects with its capacity, expertise, and investments in dredging machinery, especially Pirat-X, presently one of the largest dredgers in the country.

Speaking further on the advantage of Pirat-X, he said it can dredge and transport up to 2,500 cubic meters of soil-water mixture per hour, over a distance of 6km without any external booster and is equipped with a Christmas Tree arrangement, which enables it to work in offshore facilities and platforms.

He argued that Pirat-X has a great advantage for large land reclamations, long-range sand delivery, and offshore trenching and dredging. In the field, it is continuously monitored and evaluated with underwater viewing equipment in combination with a DGPS system, mixture density, and speed measuring system. Its Rainbow system ensures that unwanted elements and dirt that could impact the project are removed.

With the acquisition of MV Rebecca Lynn tugboat to move Pirat-X, the company is in conversation with Royal IHC to bring in an Upper Dredger, asserting that the investment is made due to its new market expansion plans.

‘’People marvel at our success, but the three pillars behind all we do are; the quality standard of jobs that we deliver to our clients; the safety of our people which is paramount, as since starting operation in 2005, no fatality has been recorded; and making the environment better after any project without negative impact,” he affirmed.

Speaking on environmental protection, he said an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is done before any project is undertaken and on any suggestion of a negative impact on the environment, the job is not undertaken. ‘

’The ability to preserve the environment is a part of our success story as all activities are undertaken to ensure the sustenance of the environment,”he enthused.

Okeati further stated: ’Safety is also a priority for us as we subject ourselves to various local and international standards. We became ISO 45001 certified since 2017/2018, therefore making B&Q one of the first companies to be certified, and during our operations, regulators are always welcome to observe the process as we ensure our processes are HSE compliant.”

On the company’s projection in the next five years, he said they intend to be ranked amongst the top dredging companies in Sub-Sahara African, saying that the belief is based on them competing favourably with the international companies in the country, which has shown that the investments and capacity upgrade of their workforce and equiptment is worth it.

The growth of the local dredging sector is also a priority for the company, as he pointed out that B&Q contributes to local capacity development through providing solutions to some of the challenges other indigenous dredgers face. This is because the company does not want to be the standalone Nigerian success story, and with the knowledge employed in carrying out previous projects, they understand the various industry challenges and are open to assisting others to develop their capacity and expertise.

B&Q Dredging is an indigenous dredging company incorporated in 2005. Previously known as Baseman and Quality Services, B&Q is a wholly indigenous Nigerian company, incorporated in 2005, providing all facets of dredging & marine logistics services.

B&Q has over the years acquired the dredging assets of the Julius Berger dredging department.

As a result of this acquisition, B&Q has repositioned itself as the foremost indigenous dredging company in Nigeria. With a staff strength of over 130 dedicated employees, it also owns the largest dredging and marine logistic fleet in Nigeria.