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Expert calls for more dry docks in Nigeria

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Kunle Folarin, the Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (PCC) on
Thursday said the establishment of additional dry docks would boost the
nation’s shipping industry.

Folarin stated this in an interview in Lagos.

He said the dry docks were necessary to improve on ship maintenance and
sea-worthiness, considering the number of vessels received at the Nigerian

Folarin was optimistic that more cargoes would be attracted to the Nigerian
ports and trade within the sub-region would be improved.

The port operator said the floating dock and the dry docks should be compliant
with the mandatory requirement for sea-worthiness.

“A ship cannot sail without being sea-worthy and a ship is supposed to be
dry-docked within a time-frame. Then you need dry docks to perform such
compliance requirements.

“We probably have one (dry dock), and we are talking of Nigerian ports
attracting over 5,400 vessels.

Folarin said the ship owners could use the nation’s dry docks for compliance
with sea-worthiness certification; for repairs, and for trans-shipment of cargo
to other areas within West and Central African regions.

The PCC boss suggested that the marine environment should be well-utilised
through infrastructure development for optimal gain.

“In the context of Nigeria, we know that we have massive maritime potential.

“Nigeria has all the potential to become a key player. If we have fully
utilised the opportunities of the Nigerian maritime domain, we would have been
seeing ship-building yards in Nigeria.

“Certainly, we would have been seeing Nigerian ports being the preferred hub
for trans-shipment.

“Certainly, we would have established very competitive port costs that will
attract traffic to Nigerian ports.

“Certainly, we would have got the capacity in terms of supplies and the
demands of skilled manpower in the maritime world,’’ he said.

Folarin suggested that a manpower-building programme should be set in motion.

He said that more gains could also come from developing skill-acquisition in
terms of nautical science, survey, foundry, ship-building skills as
complimentary to other manpower development programmes.

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