Hon. Pondi moves to quell threat to relocate Floating Dock earmarked for Okerenkoko in Delta State
Honourable Julius G. Pondi, member representing Burutu Federal Constituency moved to restrain the threat to relocate the floating dock earmarked to be located in Okerenkoko, Delta State.
In his motion in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, he noted that the floating dock was acquired at a cost of fifty billion naira (N50b) and since it’s arrival on June 11, 2018 the dock has become embroiled in a bizarre bureaucratic wrangling over where it would be located as its operational base.
He also noted that the turn of events surrounding the location of the floating dock arose from high-level manipulations designed to remove it from where it was originally intended to be located before it was purchased by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
“Since its arrival about two years ago, the dock has remained in a storage berthing space which according to NIMASA, is currently gulping thirty thousand dollars ($30, 000) per day which translates to ten thousand, four hundred and forty million dollars ($10, 440) per year, which stands at approximately four billion naira (N4b)per year in demurrage charges.
The modular floating dock when operational, is expected to save the Federal Government one hundred million dollars ($100m) annually, and one billion dollars ($1b) in ten years through direct savings from the dry docking of vessels operating in Nigeria which is mostly done outside the country at the moment”, he noted.
The lawmaker recalled that the Okerenkoko floating dock project was duly considered and approved by the Federal Executive Council at its 37 meeting on 23 October, 2013 and the approval was conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Transportation on 29th October, 2013.
He also recalled that the entire project was in two phases involving the construction of ship building facility and dockyard at Okerenkoko, maritime equipment and structures, ancillary buildings and electro-mechanical works and facilities, as well as civil and infrastructural works.
Hon. Pondi is concerned about attempt to review a decision on the location of the floating dock through desperate claims and counter claims of the existence of fresh surveys, and the claims being made by NIMASA about security concerns in the Niger Delta as the reason to move the floating dock away from Delta State, when other regions of the country are also being tormented by even more scary insecurity.
The House, however, urged the management of NIMASA to abide by all the terms and conditions precedent to the acquisition of the floating dock with a view to ensuring that the dock is put into operation with Okerenkoko as its base.
The green chamber also called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency direct the installation of the dock at the location that was decided upon as the operational base of the maritime facility.