In the wake of the recent attack on a tanker vessel named, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has disclosed its readiness to fast-track the maritime security architecture, just as its Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, stated that the Agency is working with relevant partners to ensure the crew onboard are secure and safe.
The DG spoke in Abuja on Thursday, on the sidelines of the ongoing National Transportation Summit organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), stating that the tanker was attacked off the coast of Bonny with 19 persons alleged to have been picked up leaving nine crew members onboard the vessel.
“The operators of the vessel made contact with NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy and we immediately went to work”, he said.
He noted that the vessel owners had operated for 10 days, within our territorial waters yet didn’t establish contact with the harbour masters. It also didn’t establish contact with the authorities in Nigeria.
He added: “However, that isn’t an issue because life is more precious than any other consideration. We have also immediately contacted the naval unit around that area and they have gone to work. The Navy has established contact with the remaining crew members onboard the vessel and the nine persons onboard the vessel are safe and the vessel is safe”.
Dakuku, who lamented that the incident was happening at a time that efforts were being put together to make Nigerian waterways safe, gave the assurance that the Agency will not rest on its oars.
He said: “I think this would ultimately serve as catalyst for us to fast-track what we are doing to safeguard our waterways so that commerce can thrive again and people can do economic activities without fear or hindrance”.