The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (SHIN) Limited have joined forces on the construction of barges. This strategic alliance is part of NIWA’s efforts to rid inland Nigerian waters of illegal operators, reduce accidents and also eliminate unlicensed jetties and unseaworthy water crafts.
NIWA’s inter-agency committee has recently clamped down on six such barges operating unlawfully within the Lagos inland waterways, while three unauthorised jetties were sealed. This follows the increase in reports of abuses of process in the operation of barges and private jetties.
The inter-agency committee comprises representatives of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Nigerian Maritime Administration Agency (NIMASA); NIWA and the Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority (LASWA). NIWA is also set to build and own barges for inland waterways activities in Nigeria. It’s thought that NIWA’s decision to partner with SHIN will encourage foreign investment in Nigeria as investors will be protected against predators masquerading as local backers.
Experts hope that the union will encourage other ministries and agencies in the maritime sector, particularly the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to emulate the NPA and NIWA in protecting the much-needed foreign investors by giving them incentives, waivers, leases, assurances and guarantees.
“This strategic alliance is a revalidation of the faith the agencies of the Nigerian government have in SHIN, which aligns with our long-term commitment to Nigeria,” says a SHIN representative. “Total safety, cost control and quality management will remain our priority. We will also improve on the local content standard and retain our position as local content champion.”
In its 10 years of operation in Nigeria, SHIN has contributed significantly to the Nigerian economy, particularly in the development of local manpower, job creation and increasing the country’s GDP.
The company demonstrated its undisputed global leadership position in shipbuilding and ultra-deep offshore projects when it built the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in 2018. Designed to hold 2.3 million barrels of oil for Nigeria’s Egina deep water project developed by the French oil giant, Total, the Egina FPSO weighs close to 220,000 metric tonnes and measures 330m by 60m wide. This makes it the largest ever built by Total Group worldwide.
The Egina oil field, which is producing 200,000 barrels of oil per day, scored first on many fronts because of SHIN’s contribution to the project. SHIN used the Egina FPSO to set a new record in Nigerian content development when it locally fabricated and integrated six modules out of the 18 modules in the facility.
The FPSO berthed at the SHI-MCI yard in Lagos becoming the first of its kind to do so at quayside in Nigeria. What’s more, the investments SHIN made in the fabrication and integration yard in Lagos transformed Nigeria into an FPSO hub in Africa.
In recognition of the huge investments SHIN made on the 11.2426 hectares of land that hosts the SHI-MCI yard, in November 2019 the NPA leased the land to the global shipbuilding giant. SHIN also operates a legal jetty in the zone.
NPA’s support was part of the bold reforms initiated by its Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman to restore foreign investors’ confidence in the country. These are in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to attract overseas’ investments to create jobs, increase Nigeria’s GDP and boost the economy.