. Acquires 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats for $1.5bn Lekki Deep seaport, others
By Steve Agbota
Federal Government has begin move to transship cargoes to Cameroon, Niger Republic and Chad with the newly acquired 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to boost operational efficiency at the Lekki deep seaport.
The newly acquired 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats will enhance operations at $1.5bn Lekki Deep seaport, Dangote refinery and Pinnacle.
However, Daily Sun learnt that officials of these countries namely Cameroon, Niger Republic and Chad were in Nigeria last two weeks to discuss movement of their cargoes from Lekki port to their respective ports, just as transshipment cargoes are expected in Lekki port in the next three weeks.
Speaking at the commissioning of 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdelene Ajani, said the acquisition of the 2813 model of Damen’s ASD neoteric 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats, christened M.T MAIKOKO and M.T DA-OPUKURO, by the NPA had accentuated the determination of Federal Government to boost port operational efficiency.
She said 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 (AfCFTA) Agreement to which it is a signatory.
“Maximising the comparative advantages that our maritime assets as a littoral nation confers rests heavily on how much we are able to deepen our efficiencies through the deployment of relevant technology and equipment.
“I commend the NPA management team for delivering on this project in good time to support the optimisation of the Lekki deep seaport,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the equipment is in fulfillment of the agency’s service charter to provide relevant marine crafts to support port security, patrol, surveillance and deliver excellent marine services, especially with the commencement of operations of the Lekki deep seaport.
He said the deployed three-pronged strategy driven by people technology, infrastructure and equipment, imbue the agency’s corporate aspiration of attaining hub status by more efficiently servicing domestic cargo needs.
Bello-Koko said it will also enable Nigeria win back transit cargo hitherto lost to maritime neighbours and positioning to cater to the maritime requirements of landlocked neighbours.
He said the marine crafts complements NPA’s existing fleet of tugs and recently commissioned Security Patrol Boats (SPBs) and Pilot Cutters deployed to enhance channel security across all locations.
The NPA boss said in addition to positively affecting the turnaround time of large vessels, their deployment will enable stakeholders leverage the concomitant benefits of economies of scale, especially cost savings.
“Permit me to seize this opportunity to reiterate that our drive towards deploying Lekki Deep Seaport as launch pad for transshipment remains unwavering and this event today is confirmation of our doggedness on this noble cause,” he added.
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