In a bid to ensure safe and secure shipping on the Nigerian territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has warned all owners of abandoned ships/vessels to urgently remove same from the Nigerian territorial waters on or before April 28 or risk sanctions ranging from forfeiture or removal by the agency at the owner’s expense.
The Director General of the Agency, Dakuku Peterside, who stated this recently in Lagos noted that it is instructive to ensure that our waters remain safe for navigation in order to advance our maritime interests.
He, therefore, warned that all abandoned ships would be declared as wrecks and the agency would ensure that nothing impedes safe navigation in Nigerian waters by removing them.
“In line with our mandate on the protection of the marine environment and safety of navigation within Nigerian waters and our powers as the receiver of wrecks; owners of all abandoned ships, vessels and derelicts are sternly warned to seek removal plan permits from the Agency and ensure the removal of these wrecks and derelicts from our waters on or before April 28th, 2017 failure of which would attract appropriate sanction,” Mr. Peterside said
He also reeled out the sanctions to include removal of such wrecks at the owners’ expense as well as forfeiture of the vessels stating that the agency is empowered to do so in line with the powers vested in it by the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 and other enabling Acts and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instruments.