NPA requires over N50b to buy patrol boats, fenders
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) needs about N50billion to fix dilapidated fenders and purchase new patrol boats for the ports across the country, it was gathered at the weekend.
Marine rubber fenders are used as “bumper” for ships to berth and prevent collision while doing so.
It was gathered that the ships that call at the Lagos Port Complex ( LPC) experience prolonged waiting time to berth and delayed quick cargo clearance from the port because the fenders in most of the terminals are bad.
A senior officer with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) said the berthing force must not be underestimated by the NPA. He urged the management of the NPA to provide fenders and patrol boats at the seaports.
The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Depending on the speed, a big or medium-sized ship will destroy the dock, if there are miscalculations or if the energy is not efficiently absorbed by the “bumpers”, or worse, if there are no fenders to absorb the collision. Ships coming into contact directly with the quay wall or shore is a big problem; they usually cause serious damage at the ports if the fenders are not provided by the agency.
“Since ocean is the most cost-efficient transportation menas in the world, there are vessels of all sizes and kinds around the world that are calling at the Lagos Port Complex. From the use of fishing vessels, to bulk carriers, to container vessels, there are a lot of ship types on our waters that need reliable fenders to berth. NPA may need between N30billion and N50billion to provide the modern fenders and purchase the patrol boats for adequate service delivery.
“As ships got bigger, the old timber and tyre structures used before just aren’t strong enough to absorb efficiently. We needed a better solution.
“That is why marine fenders were invented. The ones needed by NPA must be efficient, strong, and able to cope with the new ship designs to avoid unnecessary accident in our ports.”
NPA Managing Director Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, the senior Customs officer said, must see to the provision of the fenders and the patrol boats to end the prolonged waiting time for vessels calling at the Lagos seaports.
NPA’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Mr Adams Jatto said that NPA had initiated the plan to provide the fenders and the patrol boats to boost efficient service delivery to customers.
Although Jatti did not mention the cash to be spent, he said NPA needed a huge cash to purchase at least, 4.5M DIameter Yokohama Pneumatic Rubber Fenders and patrol boats to position the Ports for greater efficiency.