Worried about the high incidence of accidents involving ships on Nigerian waters, the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) has said that it will soon hold a parley with stakeholders on how to stem the tide of perennial ship accidents.
Managing Director, NPA, Mallam Abdusallam Mohammed disclosed this last week at the opening of a stakeholders meeting where the proposed Ship Rerouting System for Lagos and Bonny channels was presented.
Acknowledging that marine accidents would reduce if issues like use of substandard vessels, quality of marine personnel, and adequacy of equipment as well as enforcement of international guidelines were given attention, the NPA boss expressed deep concern about the problem.
At the presentation which was attended by master mariners, terminal operators, NIMASA, Nigeria Navy as well as representatives of stakeholders operating in Bonny and Port Harcourt axis, the managing director admitted that his organisation has a duty
to ensure safe navigation and also protect the marine environment as vessels engaged in international and coastal trade patronizes Nigerian ports and also ensure that port environment are secure and customer- friendly.
According to him, rerouting has become an imperative after considering constraints that shipping lines and NPA is therefore partnering with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to propose a new ship rerouting measure for the two pilotage districts.
He added that NPA was mindful of the fact that an efficient ship routeing measure must be complemented by up to date navigation charts, regular survey, adequate pilotage boats, well managed channel, functional aids to navigation, VTS station and emergency contingency plan.