The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said the country is taking proactive steps to address its exposure to the threat of ballast water because of the high tanker traffic in its waters.
The Director-General, who was represented by the Director, Marine Accident Investigation Unit, Mrs Rita Egbuche, stated, “As an oil-producing country, we recognise the country’s susceptibility to the danger of ballast water and we have put processes and actions in place to deal with the threat in line with the resolutions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“We would continue to update and fine-tune our strategies as new developments emerge.”
All ships, especially tankers, carry ballast water while on a voyage to maintain stability and operate effectively and safely. But ballast water has also been identified as one of the major vectors for the introduction of invasive alien species in the marine environment.
Activities on the roadmap for Nigeria’s full implementation of the BWM convention include development of ballast sediment reception facilities; establishment of globally recognised and integrated BWM testing laboratory; development of regulations and guidelines for ship-owners; and authorisation of Classification Societies and formalisation of agreement with NIMASA on safety and prevention of pollutions survey and certification.
Others are partnership with relevant research institutions and universities on biological baseline studies of Nigerian ports and coastal states, particularly the sensitive areas with a prevalence of marine lives; and training of Surveyors and Marine Inspectors for the enforcement of the BWM Convention.
There are also plans to designate Ballast Water Management Exchange Areas in Nigerian waters, and organise sensitisation programmes on BWM for stakeholders on the provisions of the regulations, as well as enforcement and compliance.
The NTF was constituted in 2010 following a workshop organised by NIMASA, in collaboration with IMO, to develop strategies for full implementation of the BWM Convention.
Other steps include the Survey and Certification of applicable ships prior to issuance of the International Ballast Water Management Convention certificate; issuance of Ballast Water Exemption Certificate to ships operating exclusively in Nigerian waters and ships with sealed ballast tanks; feasibility study for the designation of BWM exchange areas in Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt; and preliminary marine biological baseline survey (MBBS) of Lagos ports and environs.
The two-day meeting featured paper presentations on thematic areas covering home-grown ballast water management strategies; experiences of Classification Societies on compliance by Nigerian-flagged vessels; training on BWM convention; feasibility studies on the designation of ballast water exchange areas; and baseline survey of Lagos territorial waters.
NIMASA set to open Lokoja office to harness waterways resources
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that the Agency is set to reopen the Lokoja office, as part of efforts towards harnessing the Blue Economy, enhancing collaboration, while also promoting Research and Development.
The DG, who made this known when he played host to the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA), Mal. Usman Hayatu Mazadu at the head office of the Agency in Lagos, noted that investment in research would play a major role in ensuring the harnessing of Nigeria’s maritime potentials.
“The key cardinal principle of opening the NIMASA Lokoja office is to improve on Research and Development.
He said, “Now, the Blue Economy has come to stay and very soon you will see the impact of what we have; in terms of the gains and benefits to grow our Gross Domestic Product while improving the well-being of our own Economy”.
Earlier in his remarks, Mallam Usman of KADSEMA lauded the Agency for the feat achieved so far, which cuts across the entire Nigeria.
Prince Nwokeabia rallies support for Comptroller Ukpanah, CAC Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi\command, as she assumes office
She took over from Comptroller AM Adegbite who was re-deployed to Edo/Delta Area Command.
Customs, UN agency collaborate to fight smuggling
“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely.”
He appreciated how they traveled from afar to inform the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started yielding positive results in suppressing the menace of smuggling.
The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its work by introducing related courses to officers.
The CGC appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN—Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future.
He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.
He underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.
On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”
According to him, they decided to visit the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.
He appreciated the Service for being a “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.
UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action to create sustainable cities and promote viable urban development and adequate shelter for all.
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