Drydock to position Nigeria as West Africa ship maintenance hub - THE GUARDIAN
By Adaku Onyenucheya
Shipside Drydock Limited has promised to position Nigeria as a hub for ship repairs and maintenance in West Africa. The company said it intends to change the narrative in the country’s maritime industry with its quality and prompt delivery of projects as against the notion that the dry dock sector is incapacitated by multiple challenges that prevent it from contributing to the nation’s economy.
The Deputy Managing Director and Business Lead, Sunday Esezobor, stated this at a virtual media roundtable where he explored the economic impacts of the indigenous company with 96 per cent of its workforce being Nigerians.
He said the company intends to achieve its plan through the strides it has made with the provision of a viable drydock for ship maintenance and repairs in Okirika Creek, Port Harcourt, which has serviced over 400 vessels since it began operations in August 2015.
He added that its state-of-the-art workshop with a 5000-ton capacity floating dock has positioned it, not only to be a leader in the maritime sector of the Nigerian market but is set to be the West African dry-docking hub for ship repairs and maintenance.
‘’Our growth is also attributed to the vision of our founder and Chairman, Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi who took steps to reduce the nightmares ship owners go through by investing millions of dollars in the eight different workshops at our ultra-modern repair facility in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where vessels are repaired and maintain.
‘’At our floating dock, ship owners do not have to go abroad as we have the expertise and capacity to serve them. This will not only grow the industry but also save foreign exchange (FX) for the country,” he stated.
According to him, with a committed and dedicated workforce, the priority is placed on welfare, stakeholder management, and a company culture where the customer is king.
Esezobor noted that the ship repair and maintenance sector has the potential to create more jobs if spare parts and steel are available and if the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) are encouraged to set up shops in the country.
This, he said, will reduce capital flights as the marine ship owners will stop going abroad for maintenance and repairs of their ships and vessels.
He said with the company poised to be the leading dry-docking hub in West Africa with its exceptional service delivery and skilled workforce, this will be of great economic advantage to the country as more revenue will be earned.