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NPA acquires 2 new-built tugboats to boost rising Lekki traffic

Rising traffic in the Lekki Deep Sea Port, following increasing business activities at the Dangote Refinery may have compelled the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA to procure two additional new tug boats to boost it’s success in the Lekki axis.

Investigation showed the new-built tugboats, the MT Bama and the MT Iragbiji, arrived Lagos on May 6, 2024; and had since been awaiting deployment.
Our checks showed that the two tugs were built by the Damien Shipyard, and equipped with very high-powered engines.
A freight forwarder, Johnson Ibe, who deals on containers on the Lekki axis, said the arrival of the additional tugs would significantly improve activities as those available were largely inadequate for the heavy and consistently rising traffic in Lekki.
“Business is consistently on the increase in Lekki, and the tugs, from my vantage view, is presently never enough”, he said, stressing that the deployment of the vessels would be welcome development.
Our checks also showed that the LEKKI Port has handled over 58 crude- delivering heavy vessels and counting, each vessel with a million to two million barrels of product; asides over 20 containerships of 13,000 TEU, amongst other vessels .
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA sometimes in June 2023,  launched two newly acquired 80 Tons Bollard Pull state-of-the-art marine tugboats for Lekki.
The then Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdelene Ajani, had praised the NPA CEO, Muhammed Bello-Koko, saying that the crafts Azimuth Stern Drive, ASD, neoteric 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats would boost port operational efficiency.
Ajani also noted that the acquisition of the equipment, amongst many others that were in the works, signposts Nigeria’s seriousness to optimize the opportunities inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Agreement to which Nigeria is a signatory.
 “Our determination to continuously enhance our 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 our existing fleet of tugs and recently commissioned Security Patrol Boats (SPBs) and Pilot Cutters deployed to enhance channel security across all our locations”, the NPA Managing Director, Muhammed Bello-Koko had said on the occasion.
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