$3 Billion Expended Four Years in a Row: By Nigeria’s Oil Industry on Marine Vessels, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board Discloses
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS (NADN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- According to release from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) that, between 2014 and 2018, the nation’s oil sector disbursed a total of $3.047 billion on marine vessels. And that NCDMB divulged that 73% of the total $3.047 billion was paid on crew boats, security vessels, diving support vessels, and quick supply intervention vessels.
Simbi Wabote – Executive Secretary NCDMB who submitted the evidence of the spending, noted over $600 million is expended yearly on more than 20,000 ships operating on Nigerian waters. The Executive Secretary added, the Board wished undone that, most of the vessels that operate in the Oil Industry are taken to Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroun, and other countries for dry-docking because “our local dry docks were built many years ago and no longer provide the required services,” he expanded.
In this regard, the Federal Government has begun a feasibility study for the construction of a shipyard in Brass Island – Bayelsa State. And that the shipyard will cater for the supervision and rehabilitation services of cargo vessels, oil tankers and Liquefied Natural Gas carriers.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources – Timipre Sylva, who chaired the project’s kick-off meeting, stated the project will be implemented by China Harbour Engineering Company. Sylva remarked that, the high trade of vessels in and out of the nation gives an enormous alternative to maintain significant importance in Nigeria through the provision of dry-dock services. The spectrum of the feasibility study, he explained, encompasses geotechnical and bathymetric surveys, conducting a market study, verifying an optimal construction scale, developing technical proposal and construction plan and estimation of the mandatory enterprise to bring the project into actuality.
The Minister affirmed, the shipyard project will boost, develop and harness the country’s position in the oil and gas value chain and association to other sectors of the economy. In extension, the project is also anticipated to profit from the forthcoming enactment of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as Nigeria could serve as a hub for ship-building and repairs. Wabote ensured that, the Brass shipyard project and other ongoing efforts to catalyze manufacturing will help the Board to achieve the target of 70% Nigerian Content by 2027. He asserted that, the project was being propelled by the NCDMB in affiliation with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, a Capacity Development Initiative (CDI) on the back of the Train 7 Project.
The NCDMB boss further revealed that, Nigeria has a long coastline of 853 kilometers and unobstructed inland waterways of 3,000 kilometers which present tremendous potential for maritime sector development, stressing that Brass coastline, was very close to the Atlantic Ocean. He recorded the objectives of NCDMB’s Marine Vessel Strategy to include promotion of indigenous ownership, increase participation and increase capacity of local shipyards to build, service and maintain marine vessels of various sizes and manufacturing of vessel components and consumables in-country.
Other objectives of the Marine Strategy, he advanced, include: giving first consideration to Nigerian built or owned vessels for contract award and job offers, discourage capital flight, generate employment and increase retention of Industry spends and stimulate value creation.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent