By Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has commenced the process to end gas emission on vessels with the recent installation of the Thorium-X tablet, a fuel consumption data collection device, on board a Nigerian-flagged fuel tanker vessel, MT KINGIS.
The agency, in a statement, said the process was targeted at ending green-house gas emissions on vessels. It added that the pilot project, which came as a fallout of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) conference held in Kenya in March, aims at reducing fuel consumption by vessels.
The MTCC, it stated, is targeted towards developing countries, and Nigeria was made a priority and nominated for the pilot project.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, reiterated the agency’s commitment to global best practices in the execution of its mandate of regulating the maritime industry.
Peterside said: “NIMASA is ensuring that we are keeping to global best practices with a commendable track record in administration and regulation in the maritime sector.
“NIMASA was chosen to lead the project in Nigeria, being the chosen country in the West and Central Africa region. This pilot project will last a year. But the data will be reported to the Kenyan portal, and then it goes to the IMO global portal after every voyage. Reports will be collated and sent after a three-month period. The findings and analysis are then recorded and reported at the end of the year to inform the country the amount of fuel being consumed annually on each voyage and how much GHG is being emitted.”
He added: “The launch of the fuel consumption data collection device is in line with the decision of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to reduce fuel consumption by vessels as well as Green House Gases (GHG) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emission on voyages. NIMASA was nominated to operate the project in Nigeria, which has become a focal point and so nominated as a country of interest in Africa for the pilot project. The NIMASA-nominated vessel for the programme is indigenously owned by an award winning company, Sea Transport Services Nigeria Limited. Nigeria was chosen for the launch of the pilot scheme for the West and Central Africa sub-regions.
“The tablet is equipped with inbuilt internet capability for ease of communication of data, and also dedicated software to calculate Energy Efficiency Operation Index (EEOI) of voyaging vessels. The information that results from the findings will facilitate decisions in maritime policy formation as it relates to GHG emissions from ships and its effect on climate and environment. The Marine Environment Management unit of NIMASA has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure an environmentally safer and cleaner maritime domain.”
As part of efforts to boost trade and encourage foreign direct investment opportunities in the Nigerian maritime sector, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to partner the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.
This position was made known by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, when he hosted a team from the Port of Antwerp in Belgium led by the Director, Africa Port of Antwerp International, Mr. Nico Vertongen, in Lagos.
He stated that the Port of Antwerp had a long standing relationship with the ports community in Lagos, noting that from 2017 till date, 302 vessels have called between the Port of Antwerp and the ports community in Lagos.
He said within the period, 33 vessels conveyed export goods from the port of Lagos terminating at the Port of Antwerp, with 22 Belgium-flagged vessels calling at Nigerian ports and several other volumes of transaction.
Peterside said the agency was willing to consolidate on the gains of the Nigeria-Belgian relationship.
“We have always had a business relationship with the port of Antwerp either as destination ports or ports of origin. We are glad to know that you are in Nigeria and planning to lead a business mission sometime in November to the Lagos Port Community. Our position is straight forward and clear; we welcome the business mission with our doors open and believe there is a lot we can do together,” he said.
Peterside also stated that the November meeting would be the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship in diverse ways that will also give opportunities for exchange of ideas.
“It will also open opportunities for training for our people and it will give you a better understanding of how the ports in Lagos, Nigeria, in Africa work, leading to the volume of trade between ports and other operations,” he added.
Peterside, who expressed concerns about the isolated negative representation of the Nigerian maritime sector in the media, said efforts were being made to stem it.
He told the delegation that the agency, which has the responsibility to ensure maritime security in the ports and waterways, had put in place a number of strategies, including a legal framework on piracy and maritime crime and acquisition of assets to build up response capability, to stop the pirates and criminals from operating within the coastal waters.
Earlier in his address, Vertongen, who spoke on behalf of the delegation noted that the Port of Antwerp intended to come to Nigeria in November on a business mission with the intention of boosting the already existing relationship between the ports community in Lagos and the Antwerp port.
He also expressed their readiness to partner the Agency on port security, safety and also possible areas of training, adding that the meeting will further be an opportunity for the duo to be official partners.