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NPA inaugurates new tugboats to facilitate shipping in Nigeria

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has inaugurated two new tugboats to facilitate the movement of ships in the nation’s ports. The new tugboats – MT Musawa, and MT Ikoro-Ekiti, which are Damen’s 2810 Model, will enhance the manoeuvring of large capacity vessels calling at Nigerian ports to berth and sail away.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who inaugurated the tugboats in Lagos, yesterday, said they would add greater value to the maritime sector and the national economy as a whole.

Amaechi said the tugboats further accentuate the determination of the Federal Government and the NPA to increase operational efficiency. He also assured that work is ongoing to link all the seaports to the standard gauge rail line, even as the government is determined to link up the 36 state capitals, including the Federal Capital, Abuja, to the standard gauge rail services.

Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, said the operation of the boats would ultimately impact the turnaround time of vessels positively. She said: “The tugboats are with Length Over All (LOA) of 28.67metres, Breath Over All (BOA) of 10.43m and 4. 90m draft. They are built under Lloyds Classification Society standards and powered by twin MTU engines to attain a speed of 13.5 knots.

“The power delivered by the twin MTU engines will enable the tugboats to produce 60-tonne bollard pull ahead, and 58.7-tonne astern for towing operations. They are also equipped to serve as fire-fighting machines.”

Bala Usman said the facility is a further assurance that vessel owners, concessionaires and other stakeholders would experience even better service delivery from the NPA.

“This buttresses the commitment of the government to invest in the development of the sector, and a call on other stakeholders to join the government in this very important task,” she added.

Chairman, Board of Directors, NPA, Akinwunmi Ricketts, said the development marks another landmark in NPA’s quest to provide world class services, and compete with other ports in the world, in terms of efficient services, competitive cost, safety and security.

He expressed the Authority’s determination to ensure the continuous improvement of equipment at the ports, effective management of channel depths as well as constant upgrade of port infrastructure.

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