The multi-million naira state of the art liquid waste treatment plant built by African Circle Pollution Management Limited (ACPML) has begun operation in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt.
The multi-purpose facility which is built on the build, operate and transfer (BOT) agreement ACPML signed with the Federal Government is situated in Port Harcourt Dockyard. It is a shouting distance to the location of Nigeria’s oldest seaport, Port Harcourt Port.
The plant commencement of operation is coming on the heels of its formal unveiling by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last weekend. The flag off was witnessed by top government officials, community leaders and stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy as well as the oil and gas industry.
In his key note address, Osinbajo reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to the ideals of the environment, maritime and the oil and gas industries in the policies formulation and implementation of the President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration.
He stated that the unveiling of the plant was significant in many ways as it would help Nigeria to meet global standards and practices as prescribed by the various conventions and guidelines of the United Nations (UN) specialised agency, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Apparently elated by the feats of the firm, the vice president gave kudos to the management of ACPML which has the former Head of State, General Abdusalami Abubakar as the chairman of its board of directors, even as he enjoined other indigenous companies to emulate it.
His words: “I am happy to note that as a wholly indigenous firm, African Circle Pollution Management Limited has kept to its own side of the provisions of the agreement and I want to assure you that the Federal Government under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari will not relent in its efforts to ensure it live up to expectations by doing its own part.”
He expressed delight that ACPML as an indigenous waste management organisation saddled with the responsibility of collection, storage, processing and disposal of ship generated waste in the country has not looked back since it began operation over a decade ago.
Giving an insight into the operations of the company, Abubakar in his welcome address said the building of the waste treatment plant was part of its contractual agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and its commitment to a cleaner maritime environment in line with global standards and practices.
According to the chairman of the firm, the liquid waste treatment plant is not only fully automated but has capacity to handle several functions that vital to delivery of ACPML mandate.
Former Governor of Ogun State and a member of the Board Management Committee (BMC) of ACPML, Chief Olusegun Osoba, in his remarks disclosed that the plant cost the company about $8 million USA dollars.
He commended the Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman for the support she has been giving to the company since her appointment as the boss of the government agency.
He enjoined the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to help in the provision of land required for the building of ACPML facility in Bonny Island, Rivers State, even as he revealed that the land owners had made things difficult for the firm.
Wike in his response expressed his willingness to support ACPML to deliver on its assignment on the condition that the company employs indigenes of Rivers State in its facilities.
He expressed dismay that NPA has not lived to expectations by providing its own counterpart funding for the construction of the road leading to Port Harcourt Dockyard despite an agreement to that effect.
He urged NPA Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte H. Davis who is an indigene of Rivers State to use his good office to ensure that the government agency do what it is expected of it for the state.
The governor who is known for his outspokenness also enjoined the Federal Government to carry out the dredging of the channels to Port Harcourt to enhance vessel traffic to the seaport.
Erstwhile Minister of Transportation and Vice Chairman, ACPML, Vice Admiral Festus Porbeni (retired) in his vote of thanks, commended the efforts of all stakeholders on the strides the firm has made since it was established.
He called for the support and encouragement of all players to ensure that the firm consolidates on its achievements in the years ahead.