By Stephen Ubanna
This is not the best of times for Captains and Crew members of ocean-going vessels sailing into Nigerian sea ports. This is because the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has taken the initiative to control the emission of gas on vessels at the instance of the International Maritime Organisation, IMO .
Isichei Osamgbi, a Deputy Director in-charge of the Agency Public Relations disclosed that it was selected for the pilot project in the West and Central African sub-regions , after a recent Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre , MTCC, Conference in Kenya in the East Africa sub-region. Note that the MTCC is targeted towards the developing countries and Nigeria has made adequate contribution towards the sustenance of its conferences in Africa. It was not surprising why the country was nominated for the pilot project when the opportunity came. The pilot project is expected to last one year , according to maritime sources.
Many had expected other Maritime nations like Egypt, Morocco, South Africa
As a prelude to monitoring the ocean going vessels calling at the nation’s seaports to forestall emission of gas into the water ways , the government agency has already installed the Thorium X tablet , a fuel Consumption device, on board a Nigerian-flagged fuel tanker vessel, MT KINGIS, thus commencing the process targeted at ending the green -house gas emissions on vessels.
Note that the NIMASA Marine Environment Management has been at the forefront of the efforts to ensure an environmentally safer and cleaner maritime domain for the country.
Ado Ibn -Saidu, a representative of Sea Transport Limited, an award shipping Company and owners of MT KINGIS, where the equipment for monitoring the gas emissions on the ocean going vessels was installed described the installation of the equipment on their vessel as a landmark achievement , stressing that the crew of the vessel were ”keen to use the tablet”. Saidu gave kudos to Peterside, the NIMASA , Director General and his Management team for the ” requisite training that had been provided the crew members on the operation and usage of the installed Thorium -X tablet facility. Expressing his appreciation to the officials of the agency in their efforts to reduce GHG emissions, the Sea Transport Limited too official averred that it would save the country’s Climate from green house effects.
A NIMASA official official disclosed that the tablet is equipped with inbuilt internet facility for ease of Communication of data and also a dedicated software to calculate the Energy Efficiency Operation Index, EEOI, of ocean-going vessels.
Recall that about a month ago, the agency had entered into working relationship with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, on marine oil spill incident management, which many believe is also in line IMO requirements.
They are optimistic that these NIMASA initiative will give the country better recognition on issues of marine environment management and monitoring of climate change.