01 September 2011

DG NIMASA Orders Closure of Illegal Ship Scrapping Yard:

Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi may have ordered the agency’s personnel at the eastern flank of the country to move against any illegal ship scrap yards operating within the region.

An authoritative source within the Eastern Zone hinted Shipping Position Weekly that the effort was geared towards stopping illegal ship scrap yards, from causing damage to the waterways, so as not to dislocate maritime activities.

A source said that the move to sanitize the activities of scraping agents may also have led the NIMASA boss to give orders for the sealing- up of a ship scrapping yard in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.

According to the source, the foreign firm whose name is given as “Ban Yao Huan Jian Iron and Steel Group”, is believed to be owned by some Chinese nationals in Calabar.

Following the directive which was given last week, NIMASA officials from the Eastern Zone in company of the Nigerian Navy from NNS Victory Calabar, stormed the premises of the company and sealed- off its operational base.

The decision of the NIMASA boss to order the closure of the Chinese firm, may have been informed by the alleged failure of the company to follow approved provisions and failure to comply with relevant Nigerian laws regulating such activities on handling of ship wrecks and relics.

The company; Ban Yao Huan Jian Iron and Steel Group is also alleged to be running foul of statutory International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions on handling of ship wrecks and relics as well as contravening NIMASA provisions on employment of Nigerians, through casualization.

Our Correspondent learnt that the company employs about 100 Nigerians, placing them on casual employment status.

A source said that this move was one of the efforts in a series of enforcement drives embarked upon by the eastern zone of NIMASA.

Source: Shipping Position Weekly. 28 August 2011

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