• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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WMD: Sanwo-Olu calls for more environmental friendly shipping using water transportation

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called on stakeholders in the nation’s maritime industry to focus on carrying out shipping business that is more environmental friendly.

Sanwo-Olu, who spoke in Lagos on Thursday during this year’s World Maritime Day celebration themed, Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet: The Nigerian Dimension, said there need for the country to optimise the potential of the maritime industry by utilising alternative transportation mode such as the waterways.

According to him, Nigeria needs to explore the movement of goods and services from one local destination to the other using the waters.

He pledged its administration’s continue support and partnership with relevant government agencies and institutions to ensure sustainable shipping business.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, commended the Federal Government plans to begin transportation of containers from Lagos to onitsha through barges and subsequently to other parts of the country.

He noted that the plan, when developed and implemented, would no doubt reduce the congestion and accidents on the road and also increase the maritime industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP.

Also, Lynda Ikpeazu, chairperson, House of Representative Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration said the House would give the required legislative framework and measures to ensure sustainable maritime sector.

According to her, the theme cannot be more apt in this period as the world is experiencing the negative effects of climate change.

“It was our duty as member states of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to imminently put things in place to ensure the sustainability of, not just our sector, but the planet and mankind in general,” she stated.

On his part, Bashir Jamoh, director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), who noted that maritime security is the main focus of the agency as the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) latest report tagged Nigeria maritime domain as the most dangerous water due to piracy and other crimes.

He stated that the major challenge for the agency is to deal with issues of piracy, sea robbery and other maritime crimes, which is a global issue.

“The Federal Government signed a contract for the provision of platforms to arrest the situation under the Deep Blue Project and we have received 85 percent of the assets already which include special mission vessel, 17 interceptor vessels, two special mission aircraft, three special mission helicopters among others,” he said.

NIMASA, he said, is determined to get the Nigerian waters free from any crimes and is working hard to achieve that. “All the security agencies are given us the maximum cooperation because we cannot do it alone. We are also appealing to the stakeholders to give us a helping hand by reporting all the incidents so that together we can succeed in this.”

“Under the SPOMO Act, we have arrested 10 suspects in Lagos, they are still under trial in the Federal High Court and we hope before the end of October, we will see the result of that. We also arrested nine in Port Harcourt and out of nine, three admitted guilty and they have been sentenced while the other six will continue with their trial. We have seven in Calabar , which case will come up by month end. We are headway but we are yet to get there, “he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi frowned at the continuous patronage of Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) in the country.

According to the Minister, SAA poses colossal fiscal losses for the shipping sector and the nation at large as ship owners pay over $1200 daily for secure Anchorage in the country.

Amaechi, who was speaking via a virtual platform during the event, admonished shipping stakeholders to kick against SAA.