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NIMASA reacts to sinking of gunboat in Lagos

By Nneka Nwogwugwu

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has reacted to reports of a gunboat that reportedly sank in Lagos on Sunday.

The NIMASA/Barugu, a gunboat reportedly in the fleet of Global West Vessels Specialists, was alleged to have been parked at the Kirikiri Terminal, behind the NIMASA Resource Centre.

In a video circulating online, seafarers onboard the adjoining vessels blamed NIMASA for negligence, they had reported the impending disaster to NIMASA for a long time.

However, the Assistant Director, Public Relations of NIMASA, Osagie Edward, said both the boat and the management had remained a subject of litigation.

According to him, the affected boat has been under the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He said, “Collectively, the boats and their management have remained a subject of litigation and under the custody of the EFCC for years.

“While this is an unfortunate development, it is important to bring to the attention of all that this vessel under reference here is one of Global West boats that were in service with the Agency years ago. This boat has the name NIMASA-Barugu right from the days of the contract. There are also other boats in this contractual category in Warri.”

Osagie added that the agency had made efforts to reactivate some of the boats but has been constrained by legal encumbrances.

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