Pollution from Ships, Others, Hindering Nigeria& Blue Economy Potentials – Consul-General
By Obiabin Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
Consul General of Netherlands in Nigeria, Ambassador Michel Deelen, has stated that pollution from
ships could hinder the nation from harnessing the Maritime and Blue Economy sector despite its
Deelen emphasized the need for the federal government of Nigeria to put structures in place that
could check pollution from ships and plastic wastes.
He called for sanctions on foreign ships polluting the Nigerian maritime space and manufacturing
companies practising indiscriminate dumping of wastes into the ocean, using the relevant existing
Deelen spoke, while delivering a speech at the ongoing Lagos International Maritime Week,
(LIMWEEK) 2023, with the theme; Marpol at 50, Pollution from Ships Commitments.
He said: “There is the subject of Maritime environmental pollution, I know we all see this when we
go to the beautiful beaches of Lagos. Recently, we had the World Beach Clean-up Day, but as you
clean up the beach one day, the next day everything washes ashore again.
“So, we need to find structural solutions for this, structural solutions for manufacturing companies,
structural solutions for plastic wastes, and for the way with which big international cargo vessels are
proposed, because the fuel they use in these vessels are not the best quality, so environmentally, a
lot of progress still needs to be made in this regard."
Also speaking, at the three-day event, former Executive Secretary, Gulf of Guinea (GoG) Commission,
Ambassador Florentina Ukonga, revealed that Nigeria is not a recognised shipping country.
She noted that Nigeria was among the 26 African countries that had ratified MARPOL but,
unfortunately, Nigeria could not be classified as a shipping nation even with the ratification.
Ukonga, who delivered a public lecture at the event, said many countries in Africa, though party to
MARPOL, are not shipping countries.
According to her, majority of the ships providing Maritime transportation services in West and
Central Africa are from the global north.
She said: "Maritime transportation in Nigeria and in the West and Central Africa is grossly under
developed. Majority of the ships providing maritime transportation services in West and Central
Africa region are from Europe, Asia and the Far East.
“It is a cause of great concern to maritime industry watchers that maritime transportation with so
much potential for economic emancipation and the development of the coastal countries is virtually
in the hands of non-Africans and solidly in their control."
She also revealed that goods could not move from one country to the other along the coast of West
and Central Africa without first passing through Europe to be trans shipped to Africa.
“Whereas, if the maritime transportation is well developed, even if it is within the region, there
should be ships plying these routes stopping in almost all the ports of the region with shorter period
of transportation, not exceeding two to five sailing days en route,” she said.
She equally stated that the advantage of being party to MARPOL is that, African countries would not
be turned into the dumping ground for maritime waste, garbage, toxic and hazardous waste, and
encouraged African entrepreneurs to venture into the shipping business.
“I will like to encourage our entrepreneurs to really invest in maritime transportation, either for
goods transportation or for people transportation, especially in inter-state maritime transportation.
Our African countries are seriously missing in this sector.
“African countries should be involved in the regional maritime transportation sector even if we do
not yet want to go to Europe or USA or Asia or the far East", she stated.
MARPOL is an international convention for the prevention of pollution from ships.
Sustainable Development of Ocean Resources Key to African Growth – Edodo-Emore
….As Oba calls for Eco-friendly management of Marine Business
By Obiabin Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
Chairman of Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd., Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, says sustainable
development of the ocean economy is key to African growth.
Edodo-Emore stated this while delivering her welcome address at the Lagos International Maritime
Week (LIMWEEK), 2023.
The Zoe Maritime Resources boss, who is the convener of the LIMWEEK 2023, said the cleanliness of
the body of waters surrounding Africa and the state of its inland waters, creeks and rivers were
critical for her survival.
Edodo-Emore, who informed that MARPOL was marking its fifty years of enactment, said it provides
for the prevention of Marine environment.
She said: "Its now 50 years since the enactment of MARPOL that deals with prevention of pollution
of the marine environment by ships and this event seeks to examine its effect on maritime
transportation, security and others.
“We also welcome the creation of a separate ministry to take charge of maritime affairs and we look
forward to active engagement with the new ministry as she seeks to bring solutions to challenges."
On his part, the Oniru of Iru Land, HRM Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, emphasised the need
for a more eco-friendly and responsible ethics in management of environmental aspects of the
Oba Lawal, who was represented by one of his Chiefs, Olumide Oniru, said the realm of his kingdom
is completely surrounded by the ocean and the Lagos lagoon and that the marine and port business
activities impacts on the lives of his people.
He however assured that the continued support and partner with the federal government in
ensuring that the waters remain unpolluted.
The event witnessed the presentation of a lifetime achievement awards to frontline shipping
magnate, Capt Emmanuel Iheanacho, as well as Amb Florentina Adenike Ukonga.