By Kenneth Jukpor
In line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) new rule on Low Sulphur regulation which requires all shipping companies to utilize low Sulphur Fuel with 0.5% Sulphur, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will begin compliance check to ensure vessels on Nigerian waters comply.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside revealed this last week, during a press briefing ahead of the NIMASA Corporate Dinner & Merit Awards scheduled to take place on January 18th.
The new IMO Low Sulphur Regulation has been effective since 1 January 2020 and requires all shipping companies to reduce their Sulphur emissions by 85%. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of the industry and significantly improve air quality.
Speaking during the 2020 maiden press conference of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku stressed that the agency had developed a multifaceted approach to ensuring compliance to the new regulation.
According to him, NIMASA would create sufficient awareness among shipping stakeholders to ensure they are abreast with the new development while the maritime agency would also engage agencies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that the vessels engaged in crude affreightment comply with the new IMO standards.
He also noted that the agency would develop an enforcement regime to ensure compliance and build its capacity to monitor sulphur content.
“We are developing enforcement regime and we are also building capacity of our people to this respect” he said.
Highlighting some of the achievements recorded by the agency in 2019, he informed that over 7414 seafarers were placed on board ocean going vessels while 413 Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) cadets were sent abroad for sea time experience, adding that the agency was fully committed to the implementation of its mandate.
On the upcoming NIMASA Corporate Dinner and Merit Awards, he assured that the event would be a grand occasion that would see the entire maritime world move to Nigeria where the agency will recognize its members of staff who have served the agency meritoriously and other maritime operators who have made significant impact in the industry.
“On that day we will be celebrating the best among the best. Nothing was achieved in the sector by NIMASA without these members of staff. We will also be recognizing shipping companies of the year and those with high number of tonnage.”
“We will also appreciate all those that have supported us in achieving our goals. Ministers will be there including our own Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi. The distinguished Senator Gbemi Saraki will also be there. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha will also be there as well as all maritime friendly governors” he said.
The NIMASA boss also thanked the Nigerian Maritime Media for it