The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Dakuku Peterside has said the Agency will revisit the procedure of wreck removal from Nigerian waterways.
The DG 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 became inevitable, in order to enhance the efficiency of the process.
According to him “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.”
Dr 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 was inherited by the current administration at NIMASA, the NIMASA DG 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 wreck, the country’s maritime administration should publish information to that effect.
The owner of the wreck is expected to remove it within a certain period. If they don’t, it is declared a wreck and the maritime administration can now remove it and surcharge the owners, who in addition will pick up the wreck.
Alternatively, the maritime administration can sell the wreck, dispose of the wreck and cover the money spent in getting the wreck out.
And if after a certain period nobody claims ownership of the wreck, then it is forfeited to the maritime administration of the country.