Abuja MoU tasks NIMASA on domestic regulation to curb gas emission


The Secretary-General of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Sub Region popularly referred to as Abuja MoU, Barr. Ufom Usoro has ccalled on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to develop domestic regulations to curb gas emission from ships which in turns contribute to climate change.

Usoro who made this call in a goodwill message she delivered at an event to mark this year’s World Maritime Day with the theme,”IMO 70: Our Heritage, Better Shipping for Better Future” held recently in Lagos said that there was the need to develop domestic regulation so as to ensure that whatever gas was emitted from ships did not lead to global warming.

She further harped on the need for the agency to ensure that those ships which claim to have incinerators followed the rule in order to keep in the environment safe and secure.

In her words,” One take home is to encourage NIMASA to please develop domestic regulations with respect to emission because that is trending now, climate change. We want to see domestic regulation to ensure that whatever gas is emitted from ships does not lead to global warming including the incinerators, those who claim to have incinerators; we need to see whether they followed the rule”.

On Port State Control, Usoro who is also a former Director-General of NIMASA explained that Port State Control was the right of a port state to board a foreign ship in order to inspect and ensure compliance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions adding that Nigeria as a port state had NIMASA representing her in Abuja MoU.

“So, it is important to say that on a day like this, the Abuja MoU has a word to say about the role that Nigeria is playing in the region with respect to the key IMO objective of safety and security.

“So, we try our best to ensure that when the ships skips through the net of the flag state in inspection, Port State Control officers catch them because a ship might be registered in one country but will never visit the port of that country, therefore never given the flag the opportunity to inspect that ship but Port State officers in where the ship sails to, board to inspect the ship to ensure that it accords to safety regulations”, she said.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s World Maritime Day, she said,” The theme,” IMO 70: Our Heritage, Better Shipping for Better Future”, that is IMO leading the worldwide effort, who leads the regional effort? I am very glad to testify that indeed, Nigeria has woken up. Prior to now, Nigeria seemed to have disappeared in regional initiatives and regional efforts but NIMASA is fully on ground now in all the organizations and I am very proud of the leadership of NIMASA. That testifies to the hard work, the intellect and self-confidence of a leader who is not afraid to surround himself with other experts and we saw that in Egypt. You showcased and made the world convinced that Nigeria does have a sustainable interest in shipping, same thing with our regional organizations.

“The next take home is that next year, the IMO theme for the World Maritime Day is “Empowering Women in the Maritime Sector. In fact, it is no longer fashionable; it is indeed unacceptable to have high tables without having female representation. So, as the Ministry of Transportation prepares for next year theme, may we in upcoming maritime event recognize all of these female leaders we see in the audience and give them their rightful position”.

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