A Master Mariner and Director, African Maritime Events, Capt. Abiodun Omoteso, last Saturday in Lagos advised Nigerians to prevent pollution in order to achieve cleaner oceans.
Capt Omoteso made the call in an interview with newsmen as Nigeria joins other countries to mark this year’s World Oceans Day.
He said that anything dropped in the oceans could pollute the water, adding that prevention is better than rectifying a fault.
The director urged the Federal Government to create awareness on ways to achieve cleaner ocean.
Omoteso explained that marking the Day required government assessing how far it had gone in achieving cleaner oceans and safer waters.
“The World Oceans Day is not a celebration but an assessment. There must be cause to celebrate,’’ he said.
He said the country needed to find out how far it had gone with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conventions.
“The IMO slogan is ‘Safety, Security and Clean Oceans‘; how far have we have gone in domesticating all the conventions of IMO?’’
Former Sole Administrator, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Olu Akinsoji,who also spoke with newsmen, said that allowing piracy on Nigerian waters showed weakness on the part of the government.
Akinsoji said that government of any country where such activities had been on should hold itself responsible for the abuse of the ocean.
He called on the government to increase its surveillance and intensify efforts to prevent piracy.
A Hydrographer with the Nigerian Ports Authority, Olumide Omotosho, also told our correspondent that all IMO rules should be followed strictly in the Maritime industry.
Omotosho said if all IMO conventions such as putting Automatic Identification System (AIS) in all ships were followed, illegal activities would be easily spotted.
He also said that AIS would enable tracking of all ships that engaged in illegal activities on the oceans.
“Nigeria should ensure that all anti-pollution laws and regulation according to the Marine Environmental Pollution laws are strictly enforced,’’ he said.