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Ship-owners to sue FG over damaged vessels

By Godwin  Oritse
LAGOS — THE Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria ISAN, has threatened to drag the Federal Government to court for allegedly failing to issue weather advise and warning to members to  enable them secure and safeguard their vessels from the storm that allegedly damaged and washed ashore over a dozen vessels, recently.

ISAN’s President, Chief Issac Jolapamo, who gave this hint, weekend, in Lagos, said the affected vessel owners and ISAN would jointly institute legal action against the Federal Government for damages on the affected vessels and for jobs lost.

According to him, “our action is in view of recent development around the world especially in countries like Chile where the government had to sack the head of the maritime administration for not giving sufficient warnings about the storm and in Sweden where warnings were given to vessels not to go out and the vessels defied the warning and still went out but the same government had to send rescue to them at sea.

“Whereas in Nigeria, vessel owners are left alone to salvage their vessels and also threatened and harrassed by the same government agency that should rescue and protect them.”

The ISAN Chairman argued that ships, irrespective of their ages, were national assets and government had the responsibility of ensuring that such assets were protected against damage and destructions.

About three weeks ago, a storm washed about 16 vessels ashore, thereby causing damages running into millions of Naira.

Some of the vessels were rescued and towed to safety by the officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) .


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