By Godwin Oritse
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has said the seizure of about 20 security patrol vessels belonging to Global West Specialist Vessels Limited (a company purportedly owned by Government Epkemupolo aka Tompolo) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has negatively affected the enforcement of the nation’s Coastal and Inland Shipping and Coastal Act otherwise known as the Cabotage law.
The Director General, DG, of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this, however said the seizure was due to the ongoing investigation of the immediate past management of the agency.
Peterside, who spoke in Lagos, lamented that the absence of platforms to enable the enforcement of the major impediment to Cabotage enforcement, saying though the platforms were in the custody of the Nigerian Navy pending the conclusion of EFCC investigations, the vessels were still NIMASA’s assets.
He said: “The most important thing affecting Cabotage enforcement is not capacity of personnel, but the absence of platforms for enforcement. The platforms were seized by the EFCC and they are in the custody of the Nigerian Navy. These are NIMASA’s assets but they are under investigation so they were seized by the EFCC and handed over to the Navy, pending the conclusion of investigations.”