The man who was appointed to wind down the operations of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) in September 1995 by the government of General Sanni Abacha is dead. He died after a protracted battle with kidney failure.
Captain Cosmos Niagwan died on Wednesday night in his sleep in Lagos at the age of 72. His death was confirmed to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY by a member of the Society of Nigerian Mariners (SNM) and former President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Captain Adewale Ishola.
Niagwan was the President of SNM and Chairman of the Cargo Defence Fund of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.
A Master Mariner of international repute who has been in command of various merchant vessels in a period spanning over 35 years, Niagwan started his career as Marine Officer Cadet with Elder Dempster Line, Liverpool, United Kingdom in 1965.
He later obtained his Masters in Marine Navigation in 1976 from the Liverpool Polytechnic, now John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom. He had stints with various shipping lines including Black Star Line of Ghana and the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation of Bangladesh. He also served in various capacities in the defunct National Maritime Authority (NMA) including as Director, Technical Services.
He was appointed the Sole Administrator/Liquidator NNSL in 1995.
Senator (Capt.) Niagwan was elected as a Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial distric from 2003- 2007. He was on the Board of various companies including Bulkship Nigeria Ltd and OAN Nigeria Ltd.
In February this year, the late master mariner was treated for cardiovascular disease and kidney failure in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he had to undergo a complex seven-hour surgery in which a team of 20 multidisciplinary doctors at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi performed a successful coronary artery bypass graft that included an aorta replacement and re-implantation of two vessels after detecting their patient’s condition was deteriorating.
“He had high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia.
“Old age and multiple health conditions increased the risk of such a complicated procedure and he initially had a 50 percent chance of survival if the procedure was done. Although it was a high-risk procedure, we calculated that his odds of survival were zero without it, hence, we proceeded with the surgery,” said Dr. Tarig Elhassan, a cardiac specialist at Burjeel Hospital said shortly after the treatment.
“They did a great job,” Niagwan had said after the surgery. “When I arrived here, I was very weak and could hardly walk. After the treatment, I can attempt to do quick steps… I now feel 15 years younger than before the surgery.”
His last public outing was an event organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council at Rockview Hotel, Apapa in June.
Burial arrangements have not been announced by his family.
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