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Panel begins sitting over oil spill

By The Citizen
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The Marine Board of Inquiry raised by the Federal Ministry of Transport to investigate 2009 MT Concept/Redfferm oil spillage at Tin Can Island in Lagos has appealed to stakeholders and members of the public   to come up with information to aid its assignment.

Inaugurated by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar on February 28, 2013 at Abuja, the board has Chief Magistrate Nureni Kuranga as its president.

The panel is expected to investigate the circumstances that led to the incident, authenticate the veracity of the incident as reported, ascertain the legal status of the MT Concept/Redfferm and its tonnage capacity, find out if MT Concept/Redfferm 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 the committee may deem appropriate.

Kuranga 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'.

He assured the victims of the oil spillage 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.

Officials of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency testified during the inaugural sitting.

Other members of the board present at the sitting were Captain Ganiyu Alimi, Abuja Kato, Abdullahi Duro, Dikko Bala and Mallam Nura Abdul as Secretary.