The acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA); Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko said the removal of wrecks in the country’s waterways will create job opportunities for teeming youths.
Bello speaking last weekend, at the flag-off ceremony of removal of wrecks nationwide, by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), noted that abandoned vessels become wrecks in the near future, while stressing the need for a legal provision to enable NIMASA to auction such abandoned water crafts.
He opined that wreck removal should commence with critical wrecks that are within 1km from the nation’s ports.
Bello-Koko expressed delight at the agency’s strategy to explore the value-chain with the wrecks via recycling, adding that it would create job opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youths.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of Raji Industries Limited, Mr. Nasir Malik informed that Nigerian waterways currently house wrecks capable of producing over 200,000 tonnes of steel estimated to be worth about N30billion.
Malik said if given the opportunities, his company which specializes in making steel doors and other companies of similar profiles would explore the opportunity to access wrecks as raw materials for production that will be used for steel, rail projects others in the country.
Speaking also at the host of the event, Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh urged ship owners to stop acquiring ships that have almost outlived their lifespan, stating that such crafts would end up as derelicts sinking in the waterways and posing navigational and security challenges.
He noted that the current flag-off of wreck removal are just some of the numerous achievements of the sector under the Minister, he informed that for several years, wrecks have become a major impediment in the maritime sector while appreciating the FEC and the Minister of Transportation for the drive that led to the milestone.
Jamoh also commended the Minister for the notable accomplishments in the nation’s maritime sector in recent times, stressing that the recent favourable rating of the Nigerian maritime domain and the entire Gulf of Guinea (GOG) by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is as a result of the reflection of his efforts with the Deep Blue Project and other initiatives.
According to him, “the Deep Blue Project and this current flag-off of wreck removal are just some of the numerous achievements of the sector under the Minister. For several years, wrecks have become a major impediment in the maritime sector and I thank the FEC and the Minister of Transportation for the drive which led to this milestone.
“Safety is an obligation that we owe all operators within the nation’s maritime sector. Safety is also at the core of our international obligations at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Nevertheless, safety is a business of every shipping stakeholder. Look around and you would find ship scraps scattered around. We shouldn’t leave these ships floating around and posing dangers to navigation. Hoodlums could also hide there and attack ship operators and seafarers,” he stated
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