NIMASA, XPO Marine join forces to end ocean, rivers pollution

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

Shipping firms in Nigeria have been asked to desist from indiscriminate discharge of waste into Nigerian rivers and oceans.

NIMASA and XPO Marine Services Limited, in a joint effort warned oil companies and shipping concerns to meet local and international commitments to a cleaner environment.

The agencies emphasized that waste dump will no longer be tolerated, citing environmental concerns and Nigeria’s commitment to international conventions like MARPOL.

MARPOL is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. The MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973

As part of their initiative, NIMASA awarded a 10-year waste management contract for the Eastern waterways to XPO Marine. Under the agreement, XPO Marine will retain 60% of the revenue generated from waste collection, with 20% allocated to the Federal Government and 20% to NIMASA.

Speaking at the launch event in Port Harcourt, Wellington Agharese, Managing Director of XPO, highlighted Nigeria’s adherence to MARPOL and the longstanding challenge of waste management on the nation’s waterways. He emphasized the need for strict compliance with waste management regulations, stressing that all waste generated from ships and platforms must be treated and disposed of according to MARPOL standards.

Agharese underscored the importance of the partnership between XPO and NIMASA in implementing offshore reception facilities to ensure proper waste treatment and disposal.

He stated, “the Federal Government is taking a bold step to collect all the waste that are generated from ships and other platforms operated by IOCs and NOCs, so that these wastes can be treated in an acceptable manner and disposed of according to MARPOL convention (to be disposed ashore). So, we take the waste, document, treat, dispose it and ultimately issue a disposal certificate of every waste that is disposed.”

Furthermore, “Discharge of waste into the aquatic environment is no longer acceptable. It has never been acceptable but now it is going to be enforced. Whether the IOCs, NOCs and shipping community, nobody is allowed to discharge waste in the sea.”

Kabiru Diso, Deputy Director of NIMASA’s Public Private Partnership Unit, hailed the agreement as a crucial step in ending the dumping of waste in Nigeria’s waters. He emphasized that the partnership would facilitate timely waste collection from ships and platforms, in line with MARPOL regulations, thus safeguarding the marine environment and supporting the country’s economic growth.

He expressed that, “this partnership with XPO Marine will help us to address the major challenges in our waters.”

Overall, the collaboration between NIMASA and XPO marks a significant milestone in addressing environmental challenges in Nigeria’s maritime sector and promoting sustainable waste management practices.

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