17 March 2013, Lagos – THE Marine Board of Inquiry set up by the Federal Ministry of Transport to look into MT Concep/Redfferm oil spillage incident at Tin Can Island, Lagos in 2009 has commenced sitting in Lagos.
The Board of inquiry has Chief Magistrate Nureni Kuranga as its president and is expected to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the spill.
The board which was inaugurated by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar late last month in Abuja, is also to work out the compensation to victims of the spill in line with the International Oil Pollution Compensation, IOPC, Funds convention.
The board of inquiry is also to authenticate the veracity of the incident as reported, ascertain the legal status of the MT Concep/Redferrm and its tonnage capacity, find out if MT Concept/Redferrm is covered by the relevant insurance policy as provided for by the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds convention, determine the legal beneficiaries of any compensation arising and make any other recommendation that may be deemed appropriate as part of its terms of reference.
President of the Board of inquiry called on all stakeholders in the Maritime sector to work with the Federal Government towards establishing a Marine Accident Investigation Bureau as this would ensure that investigation is carried out when evidence are still fresh and victims compensated without delay.
Chief Magistrate Kuranga assured the victims of the oil spill incident that the Board shall leave no stone unturned towards making recommendations and suggestions that will assist the Federal Government in taking a position that will further assist the IOPC London at making a fair and just decision.
He appealed to members of the public, stakeholders, organisations and groups to come up with information and suggestions that can help the board in its assignment.
Officials of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, testified during the inaugural sitting.
Other members of the Board present at the sitting were; Captain Ganiyu Alimi, Engineer Abuja Kato, Barrister Abdullahi Duro, Mr. Dikko Bala and Mallam Nura Abdu as Secretary.