By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, May 1, 2021 Absence of necessary approvals and quality assurance programmes such as Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has resulted in under-utilisation of indigenous dredgers.
A dredging expert, Mr Okey Azubuike, made the claim on Saturday in Lagos.
Azubuike made the claim in a live conversation on Maritime TV.
The event had the theme: ”Policy Influence on Indigenous Dredge Construction”.
He said that only less than 30 per cent of the capacities of indegenous dredgers were being utilised in Nigeria.
He noted that MANCAP was dedicated to dredging certification, adding that SON was globally recognised to issue the certificate.
“To ensure that indigenous dredgers’ capacities increase, there is need to encourage more universities to offer courses in marine engineering with specialty in dredging technology; likewise, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
“What we have now is effects from private enterprise and it is mostly geared toward profit-making but when universities are involved, it will be more wholesome.
“There should be a maritime bank to aid funding, which is a major challenge due to the fact that production is very capital-intensive,” he said.
The expert said the Federal Government had formulated policies that would encourage productivity.
“The Presidential Executive Order 003 dictates that Nigerian agencies and department must give consideration to made-in-Nigeria products; so, NIWA ( National Inland Waterways Authority) should buy Nigerian dredgers.
“There is the National Content Development and Monitoring Board that ensures that any registered dredger can participate in Nigerian oil and gas industry.
“Also is the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council that removes bottlenecks in the industry,” he said.
According to Azubuike, the future should look bright for Nigerian dredgers