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Lagos brace up For greener ferries, in talks with UK, signs MoU with FSD

By Hauwa Ali

The General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, has disclosed that the State Government is working with the United Kingdom for Greener Ferries and Infrastructure and has signed a Green Bond MOU with MDQ Group and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa towards creating viable financing options for future green and sustainability projects.

Emmanuel disclosed this at the just concluded 2022 Lagos International Maritime Week (LIMW), with the theme: “New Technologies for Greener Shipping in Africa”, organized by Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd. in Lagos.

According to him, LASWA was identifying and meeting with companies to invest in energy-efficient ferries and technologies for the Lagos inland.

Emmanuel said that Lagos State lagoons and waterways account for around 22 per cent of the city’s total area, saying that the current water route provides access to 15 of the 20 local government areas.

“Lagos State has the highest population in Nigeria, with over 25 million people.

” Lagos State Government has provided equipment to enhance their operations such as underwater depth bathymetry survey, surveillance drone and underwater drone technology, geospatial mobile mapping web.

“Others are waterways monitoring and data management centre, detecting wreckages for removals, siting jetty or terminal, underwater depth for rescuing and emergency.

“We also have a bathymetry Map of Lagos Lagoon selecting suitable navigable route Areas for channelization and dredging,” Emmanuel said.

He said that underwater depth for rescuing and emergency was completed in 2019 by the state government for 15 important routes on the Lagos inland waterways.

Emmanuel said that LASWA was established to provide a world-class alternative public transport service that is accessible, reliable, and climate-friendly.

He said that the authority had enhanced its attractiveness and reliability to stakeholders, adding that LASWA owns 55 jetties and operates 29 commercial terminals on the state’s inland waterways.

Speaking, the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA),Dr George Moghalu, also said that the regulation of the nation’s shipping technology would enhance transportation in the country.

According to him, the move would help to meet modern shipping and transportation trends and maintain eco-friendly operations in the country.

Moghalu said greener shipping was the process of adopting cleaner and environmentally friendly energy sources to reduce Green House Gases and to protect the natural environment.

He argued that although ports and shipping activities promote trade and economic growth, energy consumption and emissions generated during its operations posed a huge environmental challenge to inland rivers and coastal environments.

“Studies have shown that presently, more than 90 per cent of Inland River Vessels use Diesel Engines which is the main source of nitrogen oxide and Sulphur dioxide emissions.

“These gases have negative impacts on the environment.

These global greenhouse gases may continue to increase and pose serious health challenges if mitigation measures are not put in place to reduce them.

“Therefore, advanced, cleaner propulsion systems using cleaner energies can be adopted to reduce fuel consumption and reduce significantly gas emissions from combustion engines,” Moghalu said.

He called for the need to encourage stakeholders and investors to invest in infrastructure compatible with greener technology in shipping for a better environment.

Moghalu said that agencies responsible for promoting these agendas would do well by setting realistic domestic, and national agendas and goals towards achieving the objectives.

The NIWA boss said there should be a commitment to adapt and adopt best global practices by domesticating appropriate international shipping conventions and protocols.

He called for need to set up implementable best practices locally by involving all stakeholders’ contributions at the ports that would ensure clean energy, using renewable sources using cold ironing (shore power), etc.

“Inland waterways transportation is an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation compared to other modes of transportation.

“The slow implementation and specific actions on the improvement and measures to reduce emissions from its operations remain a source of concern and may bleak these mentioned advantages in the future if nothing is done in this regard.

“The applicability of Green Technologies to the Inland Waterways Transportation Sector all over the world as compared to maritime shipping are being hampered by lack of credible information and feasible data to effectively deal with it,” he said.

Moghalu attributed the lack of effectiveness of these technologies, and the applicability of the same to different categories of Inland crafts, mostly non-conventional vessels was another challenge to implementing these technologies.

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