The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has launched two newly acquired bollard pull tug boats in its bid to position the country for seamless trade activities. Speaking at the commissioning of the tug boats in Lagos, the Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, noted that the launch will provide relevant marine crafts to support port security, patrol and surveillance.
He said the move is also coming on the heels of the authority’s corporate aspiration of attaining hub status by more efficiently servicing domestic cargo needs, winning back transit cargo hitherto lost to the nation’s maritime neighbours and positioning to cater to the maritime requirements of Nigeria’s landlocked neighbours.
The NPA, he added, has deployed a three-pronged strategy driven by people technology, infrastructure and equipment
According to him, NPA’s determination to continuously enhance its operational efficiencies accounts for the purchase of these new 80 Ton Bollard Pull Tugboats christened M.T MAIKOKO and M.T DA-OPUKURO to complement its existing fleet of tugs and recently commissioned Security Patrol Boats (SPBs) and Pilot Cutters deployed to enhance channel security across all our locations.
“These neoteric 80ton tugboats are the first of the 2813 Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) Model in Africa constructed by the world’s leading ship builders (Damen) and they possess exceptional Seakeeping Behavior, Superb Manoeuvrability of 360° using the Azimuth Thrusters, fire-fighting capability and Outstanding Towing Characteristics which will enhance the maneuvering of large capacity vessels of 300 Metres LOA and above presently calling at our Ports,” he added.
He added that their deployment will enable stakeholders leverage the concomitant benefits of economies of scale, especially cost savings.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said Nigeria being the first in Africa to acquire these 2813 model of Damen’s ASD neoteric 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats, NPA has accentuated the determination of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to boost port operational efficiency.
She pointed out that the acquisition of these equipment, amongst many others that are in the works, signposts Nigeria’s seriousness to optimise the opportunities inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) to which Nigeria is a signatory.