Looming diplomatic row as Ghana, Nigeria may clash over stolen ship – Report

Media reports in Nigeria suggest that there’s a looming diplomatic row between the maritime regulatory authorities of Ghana and Nigeria over a stolen vessel meant for scrapping.

The marine tanker vessel, MT Kemepade, declared missing in Nigeria Wednesday, September 28, 2011 had been found in a ship yard at Tema Habour in Ghana with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number wipped off, contrary to laid down maritime norms, according to the Nigerian Tribune publication October 10, 2011.

The publication says the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has reportedly sent a protest letter to the Presidency, through the Federal Ministry of Transport, expressing its displeasure about the situation.

According to International regulations any vessel slated for scrapping must submit legitimate documents from its owners, past and present as well as the last certificating authority, all of which must be contacted for authentication, before any ship could be scrapped.

But the publication says NIMASA insists that Ghana has deliberately or otherwise, refused to follow such regulations.

The scrapping of a vessel is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for scrap recycling mostly when ships have a lifespan of a few decades. Ship breaking allows materials from the ship, especially steel, to be reused. Equipment on board the vessel can also be reused, according to Wikipedia.

By Ekow Quandzie

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