The Federal Government said it will put measures in place to sanction oceangoing vessels doing business on Nigerian waters without adhering to Sulphur regulations.
Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy, disclosed this on Monday in Lagos at the arrival ceremony of CMA CGM Scandola, the largest container vessel to call in Nigerian Port with 15,000TEUs of containers from China.
Represented by Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Oyetola said Nigeria has taken concrete steps towards the procurement of necessary tools to enhance NPA’s capacity for Sulphur analysis.
“The transition to the use of natural gas which is more environmentally friendly by vessels plying our waterways is a most welcome development,” the minister said.
According to him, there is a need to minimise the air pollution created in the shipping industry by reducing the Sulphur content of the fuels that ships use.
“Nigeria is very proud to be associated with the milestone deployment of LNG power vessel by CMA CGM group which is very much in tandem with IMO Green House Gas Strategy 2023 that targets the reduction of carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40 percent by the year 2030,” he said.
Commending the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority for complying with the Ministerial directive to take cognizance of global energy transition in its port modernisation project, Oyetola said that the Scandola ship ranks among the largest container ships to be calling in West Africa with 15,000 TEUs.
“Lekki Deep Seaport’s natural depth of 16 meters added to its multifaceted efficiencies, world-class equipment, and robust infrastructure which offer a capacity of up to 1.2 million TEUs in this phase one position the Port to serve as a mega transshipment hub to Nigeria’s neighboring countries in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond,” Oyetola said.
Pointing out that the shipping volumes are promising to get higher, he said, the Ministry will support the NPA to make Nigerian Ports eco-friendly.
On his part, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state commended Lekki Port and the terminal operator, Lekki Freeport Terminal for raising the bar in port operations by bringing the biggest container ship one year after commencing operations.
He said the development is putting Nigeria at the centre of the global logistics business and has positioned Nigeria as one of the big movers of port transactions in the world.
“Indeed, Nigeria is ready for business. Nigeria is creating a business environment that investors can see and identify with. Mr President has challenged us to build a $1 trillion economy by 2030 and we’re not going to achieve that by the work and the shared determination of everyone in different sectors of the economy,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Du Rougang, managing director of Lekki Deep Seaport, said the berthing of the vessel is creating a new plan for Nigeria’s ports, which is part of the CMA/CGM West Africa Express (WAX) service direct from China to Lekki Port.
“We will ensure that Lekki Port plays a major role in the nation’s maritime industry,” he said.
Also Speaking, Christophe Cassang, CEO of Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT), a subsidiary of CMA/CGM Group, said Lekki Port will play a major role in the Nigerian maritime sector by boosting the economy and enhancing the ease of business.
He assured that the Nigerian maritime ecosystem will undergo a significant transformation going forward.