The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said the agency is poised to make the country’s waterways safer.
The DG said the agency is about to review the procedure of wreck removal from Nigerian waterways as one of the measures in that direction.
The Director-General who made this declaration while speaking at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN in Abuja, said the review of the wreck removal process has become imperative so as to enhance efficiency.
“NIMASA is working under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to review wreck removal process in order to make Nigerian navigable waters safer for navigation by all. Once we get the consent of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, we will put out Marine Notice to that effect,” he said.
Dakuku noted that the Nairobi convention provides for the process via which a ship can be declared a wreck adding that the agency had been following the law diligently.
While acknowledging that the challenge of wreck on Nigerian waterways is a challenge inherited by the current administration at NIMASA, the Director-General assured Nigerians that the implementation of the reviewed process will serve as a catalyst to boost wreck removal from Nigerian waterways.
The Nairobi Convention on wreck removal of 2007 states that if a ship is declared a wreck, the country’s maritime administration should publish information to that effect.
The owner of the wreck is expected to remove it within a specified period and if they don’t, it is declared a wreck and the maritime administration can now remove it and the owners can pay surcharge and pick up the wreck.
Alternatively, the maritime administration can sell the wreck, dispose of the wreck, cover the money spent in getting the wreck out.
And if after a specified period nobody claims ownership of the wreck, then it is forfeited to the maritime administration of the country.