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    Thursday, July 4, 2024

    Tugboats Unveiled at Dangote Refinery, Lekki Seaport

    On Thursday, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, launched two new 80-ton bollard pull tugboats to improve the berthing of vessels at the Dangote Refinery and Lekki Deep Seaport.

    During the inauguration in Apapa, Lagos, Oyetola announced the christening of two boats, MT Iragbiji and MT Bama. These vessels are anticipated to bolster port security, patrol, and surveillance operations.

    Additionally, he mentioned that the vessels will facilitate effective pilotage and towage operations, thereby improving cargo evacuation within the Lekki Ports corridor.

    Oyetola stated that the acquisition of the marine craft represented a significant step towards improving port efficiency and reinforcing Nigeria’s position as a prominent maritime nation within the region.

    “In line with our strategic vision, the acquisition of these cutting-edge marine vessels underscores our unwavering commitment to capitalizing on the immense potential offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.” Oyetola said.

    He added that the current administration is dedicated to making investments in the development of the nation’s maritime resources.

    The previous Governor of Osun State noted that the ministry acknowledges the crucial function that effective port operations serve in expediting economic growth, emphasizing that the ministry will undertake all necessary actions to modernize the current infrastructure.

    “We are determined to optimise our competitive edge as a littoral nation and deepen our efficiencies through the deployment of cutting-edge technology and equipment,” Oyetola said.

    The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, recently announced the acquisition of new vessels as part of a strategic plan to enhance the authority’s regional hub status. This acquisition aims to efficiently serve domestic cargo needs, regain transit cargo lost to neighboring maritime countries, and cater to the maritime requirements of landlocked neighbors.

    Bello-Koko outlined a three-pronged strategy driven by people, technology, and infrastructure, emphasizing the deployment of state-of-the-art vessels to achieve these objectives.

    He asserted that the acquisition of the marine vessel was in line with the fulfillment of the Nigerian Ports Authority’s deliverables under the Presidential/Ministerial Performance Bond. The objective is to optimize Nigeria’s marine and blue economy by providing pertinent marine technology and equipment.

    “The marine crafts would be deployed to serve operations at the Lekki corridor,” Bello-Koko said.

    The hosting of a 650,000 barrels-per-day Dangote Refinery, Africa’s largest granulated urea fertilizer complex, and Nigeria’s first fully automated deep seaport, capable of berthing Super Post Panamax sized ships, is a significant milestone. These commissioning and ancillary deployments are strategic measures to accommodate the projected increase in demand going forward.

    “Through these commissioning and ancillary deployments, we are implementing mechanisms to accommodate the projected ongoing growth,” the NPA boss assured.

    Bello-Koko expressed his appreciation to the minister for the ongoing assistance that has allowed the Ports Authority to improve its operational efficiencies.

    On his part, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Minister of the Marine and Blue Economy for their pivotal role in fostering efficient service delivery within the nation’s port industry.

    He emphasized that trade facilitation is inextricably linked to efficiency, and only by achieving efficient service delivery can Nigeria reclaim cargo that has been diverted to neighboring West African ports.

    In addition, the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, stated that the service has found it advantageous to collaborate with the NPA in developing the export sector, automating Customs processes, alleviating port congestion, and enhancing port efficiency.

    According to him, the partnership between Customs and NPA has begun to yield positive outcomes, as evidenced by their recent high ranking by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council. This achievement aligns with the current administration’s vision to revitalize the Nigerian maritime sector.

    He reaffirmed Customs’ commitment to maintaining its position at the forefront of the ease of doing business rankings, thereby contributing to the growth and prosperity of the maritime industry.

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