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Experts Urge Port Stakeholders To Prioritize Safe Maritime Environment

By Okuneye Moyosola

Academic experts in the maritime sector have urged stakeholders in the industry to come together in order to achieve a sustainable maritime environment for characterized by safety and healthiness.

Eco-toxicologist/Lecturer, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Mrs. Temitope Sogbanmu made this plea at the maiden edition of Annual Maritime week at the Institute of Maritime Studies, University of Lagos.

The event with the theme, ‘Nigerian Maritime Industry, Beyond the 21st Century” was held in the premises of the school with important dignitaries from the maritime sector in attendance.

Sogbanmu while delivering a lecture on the topic, ‘Maritime Environmental Health: Safety Considerations for the Marine Ecology in Nigeria’, noted that the greatest threat to marine environmental health is global climate change and pollution which is caused as a result of human activities.

Highlighting some of the safety considerations for marine ecology in Nigeria, she said: “marine pollution prevention, stakeholders training and retraining, compliance with international, regional and national standards for activities conducted in the marine environment and development and curation of database for monitoring and evaluation”.

Others include; availability and maintenance of appropriate HSE and PPE equipments and evidence-informed policy making and implementation.

Also speaking at the event, Head, Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards Department of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Captain Sunday Umoren highlighted some of the challenges in enforcing safety in the Nigerian maritime sector and called for collaboration between regulators and stakeholders in the industry through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

“Safety is a constant process which involves adoption, implementation and enforcing maritime conventions and regulations. It requires collaborative efforts among stakeholders and constant updating and adopting new technologies. NIMASA is constantly seeking innovative and collaborative ways to improve the maritime industry and guarantee a hit free business environment” he said.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside represented by the Coordinator, Nigerian Seafarers Development Program, Dr. Victor Ejejuru also noted that the agency is committed to capacity building which has led to the establishment of the Institute of Maritime Studies in all universities across the country.

“When you are certified, you can become employable anywhere in the world and this is why we are focused on building capacity for young ones in the country” he said.

The students were also advised make use of the potentials available in the maritime sector.

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