The Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has announced plans to float a ship repair facility in Nigeria under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
President of the association, Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung, gave this hint when he led a team on a courtesy visit to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
A statement by the minister's spokesman, Garba Deen Muhammad, indicated that the parley between the team and the minister centered on the need to synergize on building an ecosystem around shipbuilding that can align with global standards while embracing local content guidelines.
Onyung was quoted as saying that the association is keen on floating a Ship Repair Centre in Nigeria while currently exploring ways to cement a proposed consortium that will scale individual company efforts in providing cargo lifting service.
In his response, the minister encouraged the leadership of the association to open a communication channel that will ensure seamless synergy and foster collaborations.
He further stated that deep collaborations will offer the opportunity to look beyond the current operational challenges of the players in the business to deliver solutions that will work towards closing all gaps.
Chief Sylva noted that the utility of the collaboration will further cement the priority agenda to work assiduously to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his poise to achieving his target of raising millions of Nigerians out of poverty via job creation.
Other members of the visiting team comprised the association's First Vice President, Mr. Eno J. Williams; Chairman, Technical Committee, Dr. Lucky Akhiwu, Founding Member, Dr. Emi Member-Otaji and erstwhile member, Gbenga Sokefun.
Daily Trust reports that efforts by the federal government to construct ship repair and building facilities in-country have been delayed over time.
Nigeria which ranks among the world's top ten biggest crude producer and Africa's top oil exporter also does not have a dry dock for maintaining and repairing large crude vessels, a major drawback for carriers sailing to the country.
In 2013, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) announced the approval of N58.6 billion as contract sum for the construction of shipbuilding facilities in Delta State. Nothing has been heard concerning the plans and the process leading to the execution of the project since the foundation laying ceremony was performed later that year.