After four years of trial and perseverance, the Nigerian Navy has finally rolled out the first ‘made in Nigeria’ tugboat, named Ugwu.
The Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, disclosed this to reporters on Sunday in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.
Rear Admiral Bobai applauded the efforts of those who saw to the building of the tugboat which sailed from Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria to Lagos.
He said the development would surely open doors to more innovation towards strengthening the security of the Nigerian waterways.
“For me it is an achievement for the Nigerian Navy and it is an advancement in technology in Nigeria.
“One expects that the Nigerian Navy will continue to push forward by the building of another tugboat that might be slightly bigger than this and by so doing, we will be able to correct some of the problems that we have seen in the course of producing this one,” he said.
Rear Admiral Bobai also pointed out that the Navy could generate revenue by selling such tugboat to neighbouring countries who may find it expensive to import from Western countries.
“The cost of getting one from Europe or the Americas is quite high, but I can assure you that it will perform the same purpose if we build it here with lesser amounts,” he explained.
The Flag Officer further gave benefits of building such boats, saying that it would lead to advancement of technology, creation of jobs and make a remarkable contribution to the efficiency of agencies that would use them.
With the tugboat, it is expected that the pulling in and out of naval vessels for marine operations would be carried out more effectively and efficiently.
The President of the Nigeria-America Chamber of Commerce, Mr Sam Ohuabunwa on Monday called on Nigerians to begin production of local products through collaboration with international companies.
This, according to the former chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), will help in boosting the Nigerian economy and creating more jobs in the country.
“You don’t have to buy machineries to be a manufacturer” adding that “many companies in the company have excess capacity and therefore, if you are really interested; is it in pharmaceuticals, is it in food production, you can buy some capacity that exists in other companies and just go with your own brand” insisting that you can start with somebody making for you”.
He hailed the angle in which Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola advocated for the patronage of made in Nigeria goods.
While speaking as a guest on Sunrise daily, the former chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) said “the way Babatunde Fashola said it was very unique” noting that “the way he related it to employment and unemployment was very unique”.
Sharing his expertise on growing the Nigerian economy, He called on Nigerians to think of providing indigenous alternatives of products that are imported into the country daily.
He berated the Nigerian mentality that tends to look down on products produced locally noting that “it might not be the reality” insisting that “it is just perception”.
He also blamed corruption for crippling the growth of the economy in Nigeria. He frowned at the idea of importing goods “just because you think you can make more money”.