The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has unveiled a budget of N233.8 billion ($733 million) that includes provisions for the acquisition of nine patrol boats in the course of 2017.
Presenting the budget, NPA Director Hadiza Bala-Usman said the authority needs new boats to patrol the country harbours and waterways. Ibala-Usman said the nine boats would be acquired at a total cost of N1.3 billion ($4 million) – or N150 million ($470 000) per boat.
However, she did not reveal the possible suppliers, models and capabilities of the vessels being sought. Pending the acquisition of the new vessels, the authority would hire patrol boats to maintain port and habour security. Further, the authority plans to use the remainder of budget for port infrastructure development.
“One of our key areas of focus in this budget is infrastructure development, by providing for dredging and expanding our channel management operations. We are also looking at our jetty requirements in the Marina, Ikorodu and other areas.
“We have also instituted a process to hire patrol boats that will be deployed for patrols on the waterfronts to ensure that there is security. We are also looking at how we can support the (Nigeria Police Force) Marine Police, such as providing them with financial support to enhance existing patrol we have in the waterfront,” Ibala-Usman said.
A fortnight ago, the NPA donated a 75 horsepower riverine patrol craft of undefined make and capabilities to the Nigerian Marine Police in Rivers State.
The boat was handed over by NPA Onne Port Manager Alhassan Ismailia Abubakar at the Marine Police base at the Port of Onne. The vessel will help the Marine Police boost security surveillance in the waterways under the jurisdiction of the port of Onne.
The NPA is also expected to take delivery of a Floating Production Storage Offloading Vessel (FPSOV) which is being built South Korean giant Samsung Shipyards, a divison of Samsung Heavy Industries. The vessel has an expected delivery date of June 2017.