The Liberian Senate has resolved that the Liberia Maritime Authority and the National Port Authority contribute the amount of US$ 20,000.00 to the families of each person who lost their lives in the sinking of the M/V Niko Ivankar Vessel, to compensate the loss of support, consort and companionship suffered by said families.
This amount the Senate said is in addition to the US$100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) initially contributed to the families of those who lost their lives.
The Senate says its decision will be forwarded with an attached of a communication to President George M. Weah on the disaster that occurred by the sinking of the Niko Ivankar Vessel on July 17, 2021.
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate also determined based on the investigation of its relevant Committees that the dereliction of duties and responsibilities and the negligence of the Liberia Maritime Authority and the National Port Authority contributed immensely to the sinking of the M/V Niko Ivankar.
It can be recalled that the Plenary of the Liberian Senate mandated the Joint Committee on Maritime, as well as Defense, Intelligence, Security and Veteran Affairs to investigate the national disaster that occurred by the sinking of the Niko Ivankar Vessel on November 9, 2021.
Additionally, the Joint Committee established that the Maritime Authority and the National Port Authority are the direct lines of focus in the search for answers as to what went wrong before and after the sinking of the Niko Ivankar Vessel.
However, the investigation revealed that the National Port Authority, one of whose statutory mandate is to manage the Free Port of Monrovia and all Sea Ports of the Republic of Liberia, was derelict and negligent in the performance of its duties and responsibilities by allowing the M/V Niko Ivankar to routinely sail with passengers even though it is licensed as only a cargo-carrying vessel, and by allowing the aforesaid M/V Niko Ivankar to sail notwithstanding its unfitness to sail.
It can be recalled that on July 17, 2021, the Liberian owned registered vessel, Niko Ivankar, sunk after leaving the Free Port of Monrovia, destined for the Port of Harper, Maryland County. The incident left a dozen persons dead with two persons still unaccounted for, while the value of properties lost in the sea disaster is yet unknown.