Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has said only eight out of 24 vessels washed ashore by heavy storm in February, 2010, are salvageable.
Director-General of NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye, who disclosed this in Lagos during the inspection of the affected vessels to ascertain which amongst them were salvageable, said salvage operations would commence immediately after the inspection and assessment with the Indigenous Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN).
It would be recalled that the NIMASA boss had earlier disclosed that the Federal Government has approved $1.7 million to it for the operations and further pointed out that of the eight salvageable ships, two (M.T. Hollgen Star and M.T Odyssey, who have changed its name on three occasions in recent times) whose owners are not known to be left out.
The Director-General explained that the procurement process made it difficult for work to begin since the incident happened three months ago.
According to him, â€œTo be fair, the procurement clearly states that in a situation of national calamity and emergency,Â we are to respond first and thereafter go to Bureau For Public Procurement BPP. But I will be very sincere with you; this has been a challenge toÂ us in the agency.
Although the BPP said we should act first I have to rely on the advise and opinion of my staff. We have only just last week received the approval to begin the process. They have approved about 10 days for the salvageable operation. If it takes longer then we shall have to go back again. We go up to one week (rescue operation) and then whatever happens, we go back again to say weâ€™ve done this, we need more money to continue.â€