SAFETY: NIMASA Patrol Boat Sinks At Kirikiri, Lagos

By DAPO OLAWUNI

NIMASA/Barugu, one of the gun boats in the fleet of Global West Vesssels Specialists (GWVS) sank on Sunday afternoon allegedly at the Kirikiri Terminal, behind the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Resource Center.

According to a video recording of the unfortunate incident which is circulating online, seafarers onboard the adjoining vessels blamed NIMASA for negligence, saying that they have been reporting the impending disaster to NIMASA since January.

Recall that NIMASA and Global West had a maritime security contract which which later got sour and trailed by litigation from the Federal Government.
Consequently, the vessel has since been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Global West is owned by Niger Delta warlord, Mr Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo.

Meanwhile, in a swift response, NIMASA has come forward to disown the vessel, saying that it is not reporting to the agency directly, but that it has been a subject of litigation.

Osagie Edward, Assistant Director Public Relations of NIMASA described the occurrence as an unfortunate incident.

“While this is an unfortunate development, it is important to bring to the attention of all that this vessel under reference here is one of Global West boats that were in service with the Agency years ago.

“This boat has the name NIMASA-Barugu right from the days of the contract. There are also other boats in this contractual category in Warri.

“Collectively, the boats and their management have remained a subject of litigation and under the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for years.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it is on record that NIMASA recently made concerted efforts towards reactivating a few of the serviceable boats in this fleet but was constrained by the legal encumbrances due to the nature of the case in court. As a law-abiding entity, we approached the matter under sound legal advisory.

“Finally, it must be stated that this vessel was not in our jetty and under our management at the time of the incident. The crew onboard does not report to NIMASA but to Global West management, its owners.

“NIMASA remains committed to her statutory responsibility of administering safety and regulating the industry within the ambit of every lawful framework”

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