• Ship Detained, Untill…
The embattled MV Marivia Monrovia, which freighted toxic electronic items into Lagos port of Tin Can has been put on detention, pending payment of a fine of $I million that has been reportedly imposed on her has been paid by the owners of the ship.
Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, has assured that culprits involved in the intercepted vessel laden with toxic waste would face life imprisonment upon conviction. Mailafia made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
The Federal Government has ordered that the toxic waste laden containers on board MV Marivia Monrovia be shipped back to the port of origin in the U.K.
The Liberian flagged container ship with gross tonnage of 23,652, which berthed at the Tin-Can Island Port on Wednesday last week, was intercepted by the Nigeria Customs Service and National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
Some containers in the ship were laden with used television sets, used computers, used CPUs, used DVDs, used microwaves, used pressing irons and used stereo sets. The minister said the provision of Nigerian law prohibits importation of harmful waste, adding that the penalties for the culprit would be life imprisonment.
According to the minister, “the provision of the Nigerian Law, in particular to harmful waste (special criminal provision) Act. Cap H1 LFN 2004 prohibits the carrying, depositing and dumping of harmful waste on any land or territorial waters or contiguous zone or exclusive economic zone of Nigeria or its inland waterways. “The penalties are that any person found guilty of a crime under the ACT shall on conviction be sentenced for life imprisonment. “This include, any carrier including air craft, vehicle, container and any other thing whatsoever used in the transportation of the harmful waste. “Also, any land on which the harmful waste is deposited or dumped shall be forfeited to and vest in the federal government without any further assurances other than this Act.’’
Mailafia also announced that the owners of the vessel would pay one million US dollars to the Federal Government. “We have put in place judicial process to effect sanctions against both importers and owners of the vessels. “The two containers have been put back on the vessel and the authorities NPA, NIMASA and the NCS) at the Tin can Island port have been officially written to detain the vessel.
“A letter has been written to NIMASA, NPA and the Shipping Agent that the owners of the vessel should pay to the Federal Government coffers the sum of one million US dollars in favor of NESREA on behalf of government. “A letter has been written to the SSS to apprehend the importers.’’