The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has revealed that between 2014 and 2018, the country’s oil sector spent a total of $3.047 billion on marine vessels.
The Board disclosed that 73 per cent of the total $3.047 billion was spent on crew boats, security vessels, diving support vessels, and fast supply intervention vessels.
NCDMB Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote who gave the details of the spending, said over $600 million is spent annually on more than 20,000 ships operating on the Nigerian waters.
According to Wabote, the Board regretted that most of the vessels that operate in the oil industry are taken to Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroun and other countries for dry docking because “our local dry docks were built many years ago and no longer provide the required services,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has commenced feasibility study for the construction of a shipyard in Brass Island, Bayelsa State.
The shipyard will cater for the maintenance and repair services of cargo vessels, oil tankers and Liquefied Natural Gas carriers
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who chaired the project’s kick-off meeting, said the project will be executed by China Harbour Engineering Company.
Sylva noted that the high traffic of vessels in and out of the country provides a huge opportunity to retain substantial value in the country through the provision of dry-dock services.
The scope of the feasibility study, he said, includes geotechnical and bathymetric surveys, conducting a market study, ascertaining an optimal construction scale, developing technical proposal and construction plan and estimation of the required investment to bring the project into reality.
The Minister said the shipyard project will further develop and harness the nation’s position in the oil and gas value chain and linkage to other sectors of the economy.
In addition, the project is also expected to benefit from the upcoming implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as Nigeria could serve as a hub for ship-building and repairs.
Wabote assured that the Brass shipyard project and other ongoing efforts to catalyse manufacturing will help the Board to achieve the target of 70 percent Nigerian Content by 2027.
He confirmed that the project was being driven by the NCDMB in collaboration with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, a Capacity Development Initiative (CDI) on the back of the Train 7 Project.
The NCDMB boss further disclosed that Nigeria has a long coastline of 853 kilometers and navigable inland waterways of 3,000 kilometres, which offer immense potential for maritime sector development, stressing that Brass coastline, was very close to the Atlantic Ocean.
He listed the objectives of NCDMB’s Marine Vessel Strategy to include promotion of indigenous ownership, increase participation and increase capacity of local shipyards to build, service and maintain marine vessels of various sizes and manufacturing of vessel components and consumables in-country.
Other objectives of the Marine Strategy, he advanced, include: giving first consideration to Nigerian built or owned vessels for contract award and job offers, discourage capital flight, generate employment and increase retention of Industry spends and stimulate value creation.