The reported wrecks removal initiative by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has received wide commendations from industry player and Stakeholder in the maritime sector, Dr. Chris Asoluka.
Speaking in Lagos recently, Dr. Asoluka, a former Chairman of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), noted that the efforts of the Dr. Dakuku Peterside led Management of NIMASA to reposition the maritime sector is a development long overdue. He was of the view that the Agency’s initiative which is reported to have commenced should be pursued vigorously, confident that the process of wreck removal will no doubt have a positive impact on the global perception of Nigeria’s waters.
According to Dr. Asoluka who stated that abandoned wrecks pose danger to navigation and safety of lives and properties on the nation’s territorial ways, he called on owners of abandoned wrecks to co-operate with the Management of NIMASA by removing them promptly, in order to ensure a safe and secured maritime environment.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside had earlier stated that the Agency is working closely with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to review the process of wreck removal on the nation’s territorial waterways, especially the ones on the channels, as they pose great danger in our waterways.
He noted that a marine notice had been issued by the Agency to that effect and anyone who refuses to comply with the notice will have his or her wrecks removed forcefully and might also face litigation. This is in line with the Agency’s enabling Act and international protocol on wrecks removal.
“The Nairobi convention provides for the process via which a ship can be declared a wreck; NIMASA as a law abiding Agency had been following the law diligently and we will continue to do so”, the DG assured.
Dr. Peterside also used the opportunity to assure Stakeholders of the Agency’s resolve to continue to improve the maritime sector for better performances in line with international best practices.
It may be recalled that the NIMASA DG had previously stated that wreck removal process became inevitable, in order to enhance the efficiency of the process.
Also worthy of note is that Section 22 (1) (n) of the Act enabling NIMASA empower the Agency to remove and receive wrecks.