Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General Dr Dakuku Peterside has vowed to fight piracy, develop human capacity, ensure safety of vessels and removal of wrecks and mitigate the effects of pollution.
Speaking with The Nation, Peterside noted that NIMASA owes the international community the obligation to ensure the safety of their vessels, crew and cargoes to foster shipping trade between Nigeria and other parts of the world.
He hailed the partnership between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, describing both institutions as partners in progress.
The NIMASA boss noted the importance of the Navy to the development of the nation?s maritime sector and thanked the Navy for the synergy.
He commended the officers and men of the Nigerian Navy for their efforts in combating piracy over the years, pledging the agency?s support to the deal to help it carry out effectively, 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 he was happy that the Nigerian Navy created the Central Naval Command, noting that it would help checkmate illegalities in the industry.
He said the agency would continue to extend human capacity development to the naval personnel in the Maritime Guard Command Unit of the agency.
He also warned shipping companies against polluting the ports. It said it had adopted best practices to protect marine resources from ship pollution.
The NIMASA DG urged the firms to use the waterways well or face the law, adding that pollution must be tackled to make the waterways cleaner.
He said he was not happy that general environmental issues were not considered by some oil and gas firms in the country.
NIMASA, he said, would issue roadmap on Marine Waste Management in Nigeria.
He said NIMASA would domesticate some International Maritime Organisation (IMO) codes and conventions to protect the maritime sector.
He said IMO and domestic laws were considered in planning the road map structured 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 within the marine and coastal environment.
Maenwhile, Sea and Cargo Logistics Chairman, Raphael Christo-pher alleged that many foreign ships were polluting the nation?s 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.
Christopher said 28 countries, with an aggregate merchant shipping tonnage of 26.37 per cent of the world total, have ratified the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) convention.