Nigeria’s Chief Inspector of Diving, Mr Julius Ugwala, has urged multinationals and local companies to get requisite approvals from the Diving Governing Board of Ministry of Labour before commencement of diving operations.
Ugwala gave the advice in a statement in Lagos, while on a nationwide enforcement exercise embarked by the Diving Governing Board.
He also urged them to adhere to the 2018 Diving at Work regulation so as not to fall into the hands of the law.
According to Ugwala, ensuring safe diving operations and engagement of competent divers is the priorities of the board.
“Organisations which conduct diving operations without the approval of the Diving Governing Board contravene the 2018 Diving at Work regulation,” he said.
He added that most deaths and accidents recorded in-country were avoidable if appropriate safety steps were consciously taken by diving contractors and International Oil Companies (IOCs).
“When safety measures are ignored, it leads to fatalities and sometimes this happens so fast. The board will continue to strive to attain its mandate which is a safe diving sector.
“One of the ways to comply with safe diving regulations is to apply to the Director of Diving informing the Board of the intention to carry out diving activities and obtaining a proper approval.
“Recall that the Nigerian Diving Board recently prohibited some diving operations in Lagos for operating without approvals, violating other regulations and following the death of a diver on one of the sites,” he said.
Ugwala noted that they were focused on ensuring safe dives and enforcing compliance to the 2018 Diving at Work regulation.
“The regulation stipulates that before any diving commences on Nigerian territorial waters, there must be an approval. Besides that, there is also something known as Labour Card and Permit to Dive. Organisations should endeavour to obtain them,” he said.
Ugwala decried the unregulated diving operations which he said was becoming alarming in the country.
He disclosed that divers were dying on daily basis due to the development.
Ugwala said that the Board had resolved to carry out audits of all dive jobs on Nigerian waters to close all safety gaps and sanitise the industry while ensuring safe diving operations.
He further implored IOCs and diving contractors to ensure that trainee supervisors had access to panel hours to boost confidence in the sector.
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