The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) has said that it has commenced the process that will lead to the eventual enforcement of the Sulphur emissions cap in vessels as directed by the International Maritime Organisation(IMO).
It could be recalled that the IMO have set January 1st, 2020 for all vessels to comply with the new regulation that limits the Sulphur content in the marine fuel used by vessels from the current 3.50 per cent to 0.50 per cent to ensure cleaner and safer environment free from pollution.
Even though, the regulation has since taken effect from January 1st, 2020, the IMO however has given all the developing countries a window of opportunities to put their acts together before they commence the implementation of the regulation.
However , Dakuku Peterside, the Director-General of NIMASA has declared that notwithstanding the IMO window, the agency has put up a multi-pronged approach towards the implementation and enforcement of the new regulation.
According to him, the agency has fashioned out a four-dimensional process that will enforce compliance with the IMO new order in the Nigerian maritime industry this year.
At an interactive session with the media yesterday, Dakuku stated that the multi-layer approach include creating an awareness among the shipping community in the country.
“We have initiated an engagement with ship owners, ship operators, Captain of ships and seafarers on the new regime and the need for compliance’, he said.
The second approach is that the agency has similarly engaged the DPR and NNPC to ensure that marine fuel that meets the new IMO standard is refined at the NNPC refineries or imported.
“If you are importing fuel that will be used as ship bunker, it must meet with the new IMO standard.
“Therefore, we are engaging Nigeria Customs, Ship owners, Standard Organization of Nigeria(SON) towards this direction”, the NIMASA DG declared.
The third approach is the development of transparent enforcement regime that will be known to all the operators and stakeholders.
“This is to ensure that nobody will have an excuse of lack of knowledge of the development because when we come on board your vessel and you don’t comply, then you face the consequences of your action” Dakuku stated.
He further said that the agency is currently building capacity of its staff who will enforce the regulation.
He said that with this four -pronged approach, NIMASA has shown its seriousness to enforce the Sulphur emissions cap this year.
“We are very serious about the enforcement of the new regulation.
“We are the first country in Africa to instal what is called Tytro X on vessels to monitor fuel consumption and determine its Sulphur content in the fuel.
“We started this trial run under the MTCC network in Africa “Dakuku revealed, while reeling out other achievements of his administration in the last few years.
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