Expert Assures On Marine Pollution Management

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The Chairman, Ports Con
sultative Council, Chief Kunle Folarin, on Thursday, promised that marine pollution management in Nigeria would be sustained through effective stakeholders’ collaboration.
Folarin made the promise in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
He advised the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to collaborate with NIMASA to sustain the pollution management.
“The NPA and NESREA should work with NIMASA which has the responsibility for wreck removal and control in the maritime environment.
“By this, efforts to control and manage pollution in the marine environment will be sustained,” he said.
Folarin commended maritime stakeholders in Nigeria for their commitment in marine pollution control and waste management in spite of its limited reflection in the concluded port reforms.
According to him, as subscribers to the International Maritime Organisation Maritime Pollution (IMO MARPOL) Convention, Nigeria must sustain the best and acceptable international practises in the marine environment.
“Specifically, Nigeria has subscribed to the IMO MARPOL Convention, therefore, compliance and management towards regulation with regards to the provisions of MARPOL is mandatory.
“The IMO MARPOL Convention is very specific in the provisions, codes and recommendation on the processes and issues that should be tackled,” he said.
Folarin said also that the acceptance of IMO MARPOL Convention by Nigeria led to the establishment of NESREA to manage and regulate pollution within the Nigerian maritime domain.
He said the NPA took the responsibility for pollution control and waste management within the port environment and ensured compliance by ships that called at the ports.
“In this context, there are provisions for compliance for ship owners in disposal of ballast wastes and bilge wastes and a regime of charges is applied by the authority against ship calls.
“It is aimed at ensuring that the Nigerian port environment is clean and does not endanger marine and human lives,” he said.
Folarin said the effect of the agencies’ efforts could be assessed from the fact that Nigeria had not experienced a major oil spill disaster in spite of exploration activities.
“The agencies have been effective given the fact that the country exploits crude oil and transports petroleum products within the territorial waters.”
He said that although there had been issues of attempted dumping of toxic wastes in Nigeria, NESREA and the NPA had been alert in receiving appropriate intelligence and able to check the attempts.
He urged these agencies to keep up with the surveillance and intelligence gathering to protect Nigeria’s territorial and economic areas susceptible to abuse.