NPA To Start Inspection Of Ships Calling On Nigeria Ports, Provide Treatment Plant For Vessels  

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Hadiza Bala Usman (2nd from left), the General Manager, Special Duties of Channels Television, Steve Judo (3rd from left), the Controller Programmes, Ambrose Okoh (left), and the Assistant General Manager, Operations, Kingsley Uranta, during the MD’s recent courtesy visit to the Channels Television Head Office in Lagos. 

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the agency has concluded plans to start inspection of ships calling  at Nigerian ports.

The General Manager, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), NPA;  Yusuf Ahmed, who disclosed this yesterday at the Ballast Water Management Awareness and Sensitization seminar organised by the agency in Lagos, also said that the NPA  is working towards establishing a treatment facilities in the nation's seaports.

He maintained that the agency will ensure that ships calling on Nigeria waters are doing that in line with the  regulations.

Yusuf, also reiterated that the sensitization program was necessitated by the need for the agency to carry other stakeholders along.

"We are going to step up the inspection of ships when they call on Nigeria to see that they have done the exchange in line with the regulations.

They have to do them properly and create areas where they can do that. So we are introducing these inspections that is why we have the Shippers Company, Terminal Operators to be here for them to understand what we are trying to do", he said.

According to him, there are huge potentials in having an off shore treatment facilities adding that there is a huge market potentials there.

He maintained that they are going to rely on exchange to ensure that ships do their exchange before calling on Nigerian waters.

"So we are working towards seeing that we provide treatment facilities in our ports in the long run. Because we anticipate that many ships will rather patronise off shore treatment of their ships than fitting the treatment facilities on the ships because of the cost and the time it will take to do that.  So there is a huge potential of market for that and we are capitalising on that. But for now even before the implementation, we are going to rely on the exchange we will ensure that the ships do the exchange", he added.

Yusuf, also said that the NPA has decided to do what is expected of it, especially in the area of ships calling  at Nigerian ports.

"Nigeria is obliged to carry out some certain things in respect of ships calling at Nigerian waters with regards to inspections, facilities in place and there is enforcement and many agencies have responsibilities on that regards. And the government having realised that, has formed a national taskforce on ballast Water Management Convention and that is the one point"

"Now for us at the  Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) we are more involved since these ships actually call at our ports. We decided to be proactive, we have designed methodology for ensuring that we do what is expected of us under the convention. And for us to implement that we have decided to bring together stakeholders including other relevant agencies like the shipping companies, terminal operators and everybody we feel will be affected to discuss the convention and understand their feelings and expectations.

Explaining further, he said that the treatment is not compulsory for now adding that there are other options.

He added that any ship who doesn't have the capacity for treatment can stop about 200miles outside the coast of Nigeria waters and exchange its waters before coming in.