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NIMASA Environment Ministry to partner maritime agency in protecting marine environment

Mohammed explained that the scope of activities of NIMSA necessarily required cooperation with other agencies of government.

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Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) boss.

(Gist Arena)

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The Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, has suggested a strong partnership between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the ministry to protect Nigeria’s marine environment.

Mohammed made the suggestion on Monday in Lagos during the African Day of the Seas and Oceans, usually celebrated on July 25, with the Theme: ``Maritime Governance and Sustainable Development’’.

The minister who, was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mrs Adetutu Odunlami, said that protection of the marine environment would promote sustainable, social and economic development.

Mohammed explained that the scope of activities of NIMSA necessarily required cooperation with other agencies of government including but not limited to the Navy.

She also mentioned cooperation with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, agencies of the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

``It is worthy to note that one of your areas of service is maritime environment management which includes Marine Pollution Prevention and Control.

``This is of particular interest to me as the Federal Ministry of Environment is saddled with the overall responsibility for environmental protection in Nigeria including the making of regulations.

``Ensuring compliance with set standards and guidelines; promoting adherence to international agreement, protocols, conventions and treaties, Basel Convention on trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes and their disposal,`` the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)quotes her as saying.

The minister commended a statement credited to the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, that the agency would no longer tolerate the disregard of Nigeria’s environmental laws by International Oil Companies (IOC’s)

The managing director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mr Gida Mustapha, said NIWA had between 2009 and 2012, overseen the capital and maintenance dredging of the River Niger from Warri in Delta Sate to Baro in Niger State.

The managing director was represented by the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Mr Muhazu Sambo.

``Nigeria is naturally endowed with the longest length of waterways in Africa -an extensive coastline on about 852 km.

``Stretching from Badagry in the South West to Calabar in the South East and about 8600 km of inland water ways,`` NAN quotes Mustapha as saying.

He said that he intended to quickly bring together all critical public and private stakeholders to discuss, analyse and put together a sustainable road map for the speedy synthesis of the inland waterways sub sector.

According to him, with the seaports in Warri and Port-Harcourt, River ports in Onitsha, Oguta, Lokoja and Baro, the environment is ripe for the private sector to key in into the sub-sector of the economy.

The managing director was optimistic that this would provide the link to domestic and international trade and would generate huge revenue for government and investors alike.

In her remarks, the Director, Maritime Labour Services Department in NIMASA, Mrs Juliana Gunwa, described the celebration of African Day of the Seas and Oceans as important.

``Considering the fact that the negative trend of environmental degradation of the marine ecosystem aggravated by the effect of climate change and insecurity have continued to endanger the socio-economic development of the Africa Maritime Domain.

``In particular, the threats to shipping, fishing, aquaculture, offshore exploration, exploitation and insecurity, if not checked, the menace can undermine the development of the continent.

``The impact of these threats eventually has direct consequences on revenue generation and wealth creation, `` NAN quotes Gunwa as saying.

She said that all the deliberations on Maritime Governance for Sustainable Development and that of environmental degradation were not only apt but a wake-up call for prompt intervention by the African countries in other to preserve our marine flora fauna.

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