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NPA commissions new vessel acquired by Starz Group, seeks more investments

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has implored the private sector to take advantage of the enabling environment created by the Muhammadu Buhari administration and invest in the nation’s Maritime sector.

Speaking in Onne, shortly before she commissioning a newly acquired shipping vessel, MV OSANYAMO, acquired by leading indigenous investor, Starzs Investment Limited, she noted that the arrival of the vessel is another testament to the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to the improvement of the Nigerian economy, not just by diversification but by providing the enabling environment for the private sector to invest more in the country.

According to her, “In addition to its contribution to the development of the Maritime industry in the country, the introduction of MV OSANYAMO has the capacity to deepen oil exploration and production in Nigeria.

“The vessel is currently the largest Damen ASD Tug range till date, the ASD Tug 5114 model vessel is purpose built to assist in tanker lifting operations alongside FPSOs in the Gulf of Guinea”, she added.

The NPA boss averred that “at 52.3 meters length, displacing 800 tonnes, a 268sqm deck space, at 5 tonnes load per m, 2 large fuel and water tanks; with transfer capability of 115 tonnes astern and 110 tonnes ahead, two main ABC16 DZC engines delivering 6,700kw powering twin kort nozzle thrusters manufactured by Schottel and additional capabilities like fire-fighting and oil recovery, the MV OSANYAMO is state-of-the-art tug, being a highly maneuverable vessel, fully equipped, for offshore operation.”

While congratulating Messrs Starzs Investment Limited for the feat and epoch making initiative, the Hadiza Bala Usman reiterated the commitment of the NPA at all investors in the nation’s maritime sector, stressing that “Together, we can work to make the sector the pride of Nigeria and the African continent as a whole.”

She particularly commended the Starzs Investment Limited for its commitment to the Nigerian Content requirement of the Federal Government to the extent that it can boast of a 100 percent Nigerian crew on its entire fleet of vessels.

In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who christened the boat, also commended Starzs Investment Limited for the Landmark.

In his address, the chairman of Starz Investment Limited, Chief Greg Ogbeifun recalled that part of the reason for the acquisition is to deepen local content in the maritime industry and further grow participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry.

He decried the undue delays in the disbursement of Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), statutorily earmarked to support indigenous participation in shipping fleet, saying time has come for the Nigerian government to prevail on NIMASA to do the needful in disbursing the facility and even The Maritime Fund (TMF), also domiciled in the agency so that indigenous shippers can make use of the facility to acquire more vessels that will position the country as a maritime leader in the west coast.

Amongst the personalities that witnessed the historic NPA occasion were the former Managing Director, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, Managing Director, Total E&P, Mr. Nicolas Terraz.