Explosive On-board Ship Foils Inauguration Of Tanker Wagons


Inauguration of 20 fuel tanker wagons meant for the haulage of petroleum products by the railway system was foiled yesterday after a senior executive of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) stopped unloading the tankers from the ship as a result of some dangerous cargoes believed to be explosives found onboard the ship.

The Federal Government had imported the tankers from China to begin the haulage of petrol and other refined oil products from the seaports to relieve the roads of burden believed to be responsible for the fast dilapidation of the roads.

The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, who arrived at the Apapa Port Greenview Terminal managed by the Dangote Group for the inauguration of the wagons, was delayed for about 30 minutes in his car by the NIMASA’s deputy director for Maritime Safety and Standards, Capt Warriddi Enisuoh, who explained why the unloading of the ship was stopped.

Concerned over his safety, the transport minister had to shelve the inauguration of the tankers.

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The Nigeria Police Force, however, claimed to have imported some of the arms, even as a call put through to the Police Affairs Ministry did not yield any result.

Enisuoh said although the items were in the manifest, the consignees failed to confirm the products, adding that at a time when bomb blasts had become the order of the day in the country, the maritime agency could not afford to play with its security functions.

He said the way the ship berthed, the agency had reasons to suspect that all was not well with it. He ordered that the off-loading of the tanker wagons meant to be inaugurated by the minister be suspended.

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