AMCON complexities impede NIMASA’s intervention
By Kenneth Jukpor
An oil tanker known as ‘Breakthrough’ has been aground at the Takwabay beach in Lagos for three weeks, posing health, environmental and security challenges in the coastal area.
Breakthrough (IMO: 9095723) was built in 2006 and has been sailing under the flag of Nigeria prior to the complications which led to its take over by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Speaking with MMS Plus on the incident, the Chairperson, Nigerian Ship Registration Reform Committee, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori expressed displeasure that the maritime asset remains aground for more than three weeks without attracting the attention an airplane would have been accorded if it crashed.
His words: “If it’s an airplane everywhere will be full and there would be an explanation of how this happened. What is the role of the government agencies here? Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), ship owners, among others.”
According to him, Breakthrough currently poses environmental and ecological threats, affects tourism in the area, as well as humungous fiscal losses to the ship owner.
The vessel still sitting at Takwabay beach has carrying capacity of 7032 DWT and draught of 6 meters. Her length overall (LOA) is 109 meters and her width is 16.8 meters.
Meanwhile, a top managerial source at NIMASA told MMS Plus that the vessel is under AMCON administration, hence the delay in salvaging the ship.
The source, however, stated that NIMASA had visited the beach to see the vessel and the agency has also been approached to salvage the oil tanker.
“Someone is trying to salvage the vessel and they contacted NIMASA with the salvage plan. NIMASA is working with them on that. When a vessel goes aground, it is the owner that has the right to salvage his asset. It is only proper to salvage the vessel before it becomes a wreck. AMCON has been in discussion with NIMASA on this,” he said.
Meanwhile, when sited by MMS Plus correspondent the vessel almost looked like a wreck and this position is shared by the NIMASA source who said, “the ship is almost lost”
“NIMASA is aware, visited the site and has initiated plans to resolve the situation,” the NIMASA source added.