Peterside vows to fight sea pirates

Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General (DG) Dr Dakuku Peterside has vowed to stem the tide of criminalities on territorial waters, develop human capacity, ensure safety of vessels, remove wrecks and mitigate pollution.

Peterside, who spoke with The Nation, assured indigenous ship owners and the international community that NIMASA would ensure the safety of their vessels,  crew and cargoes to foster shipping business and trading.

He hailed the partnership between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, describing the institutions as partners in progress.

The NIMASA boss noted the importance of the Navy to the development of the maritime sector, thanking the Navy for the synergy.

He commended the officers and men of the Navy for their efforts in combating piracy over the years, pledging the agency’s support in carrying out its operations.

Piracy is capable of crippling the economy. Since shipping largely contributes to the growth of any economy, the economy cannot thrive where piracy activities are carried out,

he said, adding that he was happy that the Nigerian Navy created the Central Naval Command, which would help checkmate illegalities in the industry.

Peterside said the agency would continue to extend human capacity development training to the naval personnel in the Maritime Guard Command Unit of the agency.

He also warned shipping companies against polluting the ports, which had adopted best practices to protect marine resources from ship pollution.

He urged the firms to use the waterways well or face the law, adding that pollution must be tackled to make the waterways cleaner.

He expressed displeasure that general environmental issues were not considered by some oil and gas firms in the country.

NIMASA, he said, will issue a roadmap on Marine Waste Management in Nigeria.

According to him, NIMASA will domesticate some International Maritime Organisation (IMO) codes and conventions to protect the maritime sector, adding that IMO and domestic laws were considered in planning the roadmap structure to provide the ideal platform to grow the business of managing waste generated in the maritime environment.

He plegded the agency’s support for public-private partnership model to facilitate effective management of ship-generated waste.

Meanwhile, Sea and Cargo Logistics Chairman Raphael Christo-pher has alleged that many foreign ships were polluting the territorial waters with waste and depleting fish stocks.

At a seminar organised by sea workers in Lagos, he urged the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, to fashion out a policy that will facilitate effective management of ship-generated waste within the marine and coastal environment.

Twenty-eight countries, with an aggregate merchant shipping tonnage of 26.37 per cent of the world total, Christopher said, have ratified the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) convention.

Source: The Nation