NIMASA partners IMO to compensate victims of FPSO explosion
• Seeks collaboration to sustain decline in piracy
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed that it will partner the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) through the instrumentality of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) funds to compensate communities for the environmental pollution caused by the exploded vessel, Trinity Spirit.
Recall that Trinity Spirit, floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) platform had exploded in January in Delta State with 10 seafarers onboard.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, hinted about compensation of the affected communities during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos at the weekend.
Jamoh described the incident as unfortunate, noting that a team is working with other relevant organs of government to determine the immediate and remote causes of the fire explosion.
He noted that the issue of environmental pollution was highlighted in the preliminary report, as the agency would work with IMO for compensation of all the losses within and around the facility.
He said the public would be informed of every detail concerning the incident as the situation unfolds.
Jamoh said the agency would collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria attains the status of not only the hub of maritime activities in the West and Central Africa region but also a major maritime player globally.
Jamoh also reiterated the steady progress in maritime security, safety and growing capacity for the industry.
The NIMASA boss noted that the statistics released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) showed that piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea dropped from 81 in 2020 to 34 in 2021.
He said this represents 58.02 per cent decline, which was not by accident, but a product of conscious collaborative efforts by the agency, the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders in the region.
He noted that the IMB report also shows a 62 per cent decrease in the number of crew kidnapping incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, which reduced from 150 in 2020 to 57 in 2021.
Commenting on statutory levies stakeholders pay the Federal Government through the agency, Jamoh reaffirmed that NIMASA levies are following the provisions of the Act, which sets up the agency.
“The NIMASA Act 2007, which is our guiding principle only states that our charges must be a component of the gross freight and must be paid by shipowners not in terms of product to marketers or any other entity,” the DG said.
Speaking further, the NIMASA boss said all the payments either in hard currency or naira, are made into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.
He noted that in the long run, it was for the benefit of all Nigerians that the country does not further lose any source of her revenue through underpayment in statutory charges or levies.