One of the Global West Vessels Specialists (GWVS) gun boat which sank on Sunday at the Kirikiri waters where it has been over the years, was in the custody of the Economic and Financial crime Commission (EFCC) and manned by the GWVS at the time it went under the water.
NIMASA in a statement on Monday signed by the Assistant Director Public Relations, Edward Osagie noted that the boat named NIMASA-Baragu and others in the GWSV/NIMASA contract have remained a subject of litigation and under the custody of the EFCC over the years.
The statement reads in part: “While this is an unfortunate development, it is important to bring to the attention of all that this vessel under reference here is one of Global West boats that were in service with the Agency years ago.
“This boat has the name NIMASA-Barugu right from the days of the contract. There are also other boats in this contractual category in Warri.
“Collectively, the boats and their management have remained a subject of litigation and under the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for years.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is on record that NIMASA recently made concerted efforts towards reactivating a few of the serviceable boats in this fleet but was constrained by the legal encumbrances due to the nature of the case in court. As a law-abiding entity, we approached the matter under sound legal advisory.
“Finally, it must be stated that this vessel was not in our jetty and under our management at the time of the incident. The crew onboard does not report to NIMASA but to Global West management, its owners.
“NIMASA remains committed to her statutory responsibility of administering safety and regulating the industry within the ambit of every lawful framework,” Osagie stated in the statement.
NIMASA/Barugu, one of the gun boats in the fleet of GWSV sank on Sunday afternoon at the Kirikiri Terminal, behind NIMASA Resource Center. Sources disclosed that effort to save the gun boat from sinking by Global West crew failed.