NIMASA cautions against ‘wanton deposition’ of plastics into sea
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has cautioned against ‘wanton deposition’ of plastics and plastic materials into the water.
In a speech to commemorate the 2016 World Ocean Day, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, challenged Nigerians to protect the nation’s marine environment.
According to Peterside, this year’s theme “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”, which emphasises the creation of awareness on the harmful effects of plastics to water bodies is very germane given the “wanton deposition of plastics and plastic materials into the water”.
The World Ocean Day celebrated on the 8th of June every year seeks to create awareness for the protection and conservation of the marine environment from litters and other harmful practices.
He called on well-meaning Nigerians to champion the campaign for the protection of the marine environment, which he said, has a lot of positive socio-economic impact on human life.
He said: “We join the rest of the world in the efforts to promote the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity and the cultural heritage of the ocean”.
Explaining further, Peterside said: “The marine environment that covers about 70 per cent of the earth’s surface is essential for food security, health and survival of life and is a critical part of the biosphere.
“The official designation of World Ocean Day therefore is an opportunity for us to raise awareness on the current global challenges to the ocean”, said Peterside.
He called on Nigerians to help save the ocean by ensuring that waterways are free of debris and every kind of pollution that poses dangers to the sea and its inhabitants.
According to him, the management and protection of Nigeria’s marine environment from activities inimical to its eco balance is one of the key functions of NIMASA whose “mandate is executed through several international conventions and protocols as ratified by the Federal Government”.
He explained that Nigeria’s commitment to full enforcement of the MARPOL ‘73/’78 Convention, London Convention ‘72 and the London Protocol ‘96 as well as BALLAST WATER 2004 is unwavering.
Meanwhile, Peterside has identified ‘vertical and horizontal partnership’ as key to the development of Nigeria’s maritime sector.Receiving Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Rolf Ree in his Office, Peterside described Norway as a great maritime nation, which has earned global acclaim as a complete “maritime cluster that is driven by technological development”. He expressed Nigeria’s readiness to partner with the Norwegian Government and its Maritime Authority for mutual benefit”.
Explaining further, he said: “Norway has a lot to benefit from Nigeria as we are a major player in Africa especially the hydro carbon trade and the Country has a lot to benefit from Norway, in the areas of expertise and technology needed to develop the sector”.
Earlier in his address, Ree who described the Nigerian maritime sector as very impressive noted that the Norwegian Government is willing to collaborate with NIMASA for the development of the maritime sector in many areas including enhancing the Nigeria flag.
He also pressed the readiness of Norway to provide infrastructural and technical support to NIMASA in the country’s quest to assert itself as major player in Africa