By Godwin Oritse
LAGOS—A fishing and research vessel, Sarki Baraka, which was donated by the Japanese Government to the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research in Lagos has been stolen by pirates.
This is even as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, said that it has traced the missing vessel to neighbouring Cameroun.
Even though he did not divulge the name of the vessel, NIMASA Executive Director of Operations, Rotimi Fashakin told Vanguard on the sidelines of an event in Lagos that the vessel was donated to the school by the Japanese government for training.
Fashakin said that the vessel was stolen from where it was anchored on Lagos water and the school notified NIMASA. He said the agency moved swiftly into action by constituting a search party to recover the vessel.
He said; “Oceanography just told us that their vessel was missing so we had to move in with the deployment of the right tools.
“There is a great collaboration in the shipping business; information sharing is one of the cardinal means of ensuring that global shipping is safe and secure.
‘’Through that collaborative effort, we were able to get Cameroun to confirm that the vessel was in their country.”
Efforts to speak with the school authority for more clarification proved abortive as phone numbers of the Rector were not connecting.
Also, our correspondent contacted the captain of the vessel (names withheld) but she was unwilling to speak on the matter.
A reliable source at the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research however confirmed the name of the vessel as Sarki Baraka.
He said “it is a fishing and research vessel, but currently we don’t know where that vessel is any more”
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