|Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director-General ,NIMASA addressing Newsmen in Lagos on Friday|
Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Friday said it had
intensified efforts in its bid to rescue five crew members who were hijacked
from a vessel, MT Sampatiki, offshore the Niger Delta.
Peterside, the Director-General of NIMASA, told newsmen in Lagos that the
agency immediately contacted the Nigerian Navy for deployment of personnel and
vessels in search of the abducted crew immediately they got the reports.
agency had also deployed its satellite surveillance facility alongside the
intelligence from the Nigerian Navy to track and confirm that the
Liberian-flagged chemical tanker was currently offshore Lome.
said the agency had also contacted the flag state, the owners of the vessel, and the maritime administrations of Benin Republic and that of Togo to ensure
a safe return of the vessel.
Interpol Regional Bureau and the United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime(UNODO) were contacted to reach their respective bureaus in Togo with
useful information that could lead to the rescue of the vessel and crew.
director general, however, restated Nigeria’s capacity to guarantee security of
its maritime domain via the agency’s operations to safeguard the maritime
domain against all forms of illegal activities.
recent abduction incident had made the agency deploy some of its operational
vessels manned by military personnel of the Maritime Guard Command(MGC).
according to him, is “to enforce the security and guarantee 24 hours patrol of
our territorial waters, especially off the coast of Qua Iboe and Brass in the Nigeria
Delta where these incidences seem to be rampant.”
said NIMASA would continue to strengthen its collaboration with relevant
agencies, while acknowledging that its collaboration with some arms of the
Nigerian military had been useful.
importantly, that NIMASA was working with relevant stakeholders to pass an
anti-piracy bill into law to ensure the necessary framework to counter the
menace of pirate attacks.
disclosed the commencement of the agency’s process of reviewing its MoU with
the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Airforce respectively for continued coastal
patrol and air surveillance for improved security and quicker response time to
recalled that the vessel had arrived Port Harcourt Port on March 21, 2016 loaded
with gas oil, and was subsequently detained by the agency’s surveyors for some verification.
according to the director general, was released to sail out of the Port Harcourt
port on March 24, while the Nigerian government was officially informed of the abduction
incidence on March 26.