Wreck Removal: ‘Nimasa Notice Dead On Arrival’


The President of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Engr. Greg Ogbeifun has condemned the recent marine notice issued by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to owners of abandoned vessels within the Nigerian coastal waters to remove their vessels within 28 days or be declared wrecks.
He argued  that the short notice by the  agency is not enough  for the vessels to be removed saying that some  of the vessels have  run aground and that most of them might not have the power to move on their  own even as he  said that there should  be agreement  as to where the vessels  should be relocated.
Ogbeifun who spoke with our correspondent maintained that Nimasa should have taken detailed statistics of the vessels and owners thus hold a meeting with ship operators to agree on where to move the vessels and seek where the agency could be of assistance to the owners most of whom might not have the  financial power to evacuate the vessels.
He urged the apex maritime regulatory agency to take a different approach due to non availability of statistics of vessels on the nation’s maritime domain.
According to him, “My personal view is that may be NIMASA would have taken a different approach. First of all, I do not have statistics of the vessels, I do not know the conditions, some of the vessels are probably aground, some have no power to move so the cost of moving them could be quite elaborate and expensive and I do not know if any of the owners is in any financial position to shoulder the responsibility of moving them within the short  time.
“Where will they move the vessels to? Whereever they are going  to move the vessels to, they will have to incure cost. In my opinion, the Nimasa ultimatum is dead on arrival, it cannot work”, he said.
He opined that Nimasa  should  identify the owners of the vessels and find out if they have any challenge  or difficulty  in moving  the vessels and also  find  out where the agency could  be of assistance in moving  them.
Ogbeifun added that Nimasa had to agree with owners on where to move the vessels because according to him, it would amount to fruitless  effort if the vessels were moved from one point and kept in  another place stating  that the reason  for the removal will not be achieved.
“Nimasa should first of all confirm the vessels owner and after that, ask them whether  they have any challenge  moving the vessels from there and they will tell  you their challenges.
“You also have to agree with them where to move vessels to because there  is no point moving a vessels  from here and relocate it to another location.
It should be a collaborative thing that should be done at the end of the day, the objectives of moving the vessels will be achieved by all parties” he said.
He maintained that the removal effort can be done without the assistance of Nimasa.