THE Marine Board of Inquiry set up by the Federal Ministry of Transport to look into spillage from a vessel, MT Concep/Redfferm, at Tin Can Island, Lagos, four years ago has commenced sitting in Lagos.
Inaugurated by the Transport Minister, Senator Idris Umar last month in Abuja, the Board has Chief Magistrate Nureni Kuranga as its president.
In his inaugural speech, Kuranga listed its terms of reference to include; investigating the circumstances that led to the incident; authenticating the veracity of the incident as reported; ascertaining the legal status of the vessel and its tonnage capacity; find out if it was covered by the relevant insurance policy as provided for by the International Oil Pollution Compensation, IOPC, Funds Convention, determining the legal beneficiaries of any compensation arising and make any other recommendation that the committee may deem appropriate.
He 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.
Kuranga assured the victims of the Oil spillage incident that the Board will leave no stone unturned towards making recommendations and suggestions that will assist the Federal Government in making 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 could help the board in its assignment.
Officials of 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.