The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the N4bn annual demurrage on a floating dock acquired by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency for N50bn.
The House charged the management of NIMASA to abide by all the terms and conditions relating to the acquisition of the floating dock, with the sight to ensuring that the dock was put into operation forthwith, with Okerenkoko, Delta State, as its base.
The House also called on the Federal Government to direct the installation of the floating dock at Okerenkoko, Delta State, the location that was decided upon by the government as the operational base of the maritime facility.
Also, the lawmakers urged the Nigerian Navy to provide all necessary assistance, including dredging in Delta State enabling NIMASA to put the dock into use.
The resolutions were passed following the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Mr Julius Pondi, titled ‘Threat to relocate the floating dock earmarked for Okerenkoko, Delta State.’
Pondi said, “The House notes that there is a floating dock acquired at a cost of over N50bn, which was earmarked to be located in Okerenkoko, Delta State, but since its arrival in the country on June 11, 2018, the floating dock has become embroiled in a bizarre bureaucratic wrangling over where it would be located as its operational base.”
The lawmaker recalled that the Okerenkoko floating dock project was duly considered and approved by the Federal Executive Council at its 37th meeting on October 23, 2013, and the approval was conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Transport on October 29, 2013.
He also recalled that the entire project was in two phases involving the construction of shipbuilding facility and dockyard at Okerenkoko Delta State, maritime equipment and structures, ancillary buildings and electro-mechanical works and facilities, as well as civil and infrastructural works.
Pondi said, “The House further notes that since its arrival in Nigeria about two years ago, the dock has remained in a storage berthing space which, according to NIMASA, is currently gulping $30,000 per day, which translates to $10.44m per year, which stands at approximately N4bn per year in demurrage charges.”
He added that the modular floating dock, when operational, was anticipated to save the Federal Government $100m annually and $1bn in 10 years through direct savings from the dry-docking of vessels operating in Nigeria, which is mostly done outside the country at the moment.
Meanwhile, the House on Wednesday resolved to investigate the alleged military invasion of Bilabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
A member, Mr Fredrick Agbedi, had moved a motion alleging that men of the Joint Military Taskforce stormed Bilabiri in reprisal attacks following an earlier killing of four personnel of the Nigerian Navy on January 2, 2020, at Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company site at Agege by unknown gunmen.

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