NIMASA to adopt IMO’s harmonised Ballast Water Management regime
HomeNewsNIMASA to adopt IMO’s harmonised Ballast Water Management regime
The Director-General of the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku
Peterside, has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the Ballast Water Management
(BWM) Convention, 2004. Dakuku also said NIMASA remained determined to ensure
cleaner oceans and a safe, secure and environmentally sound maritime sector.
The Director-General stated
these in his keynote address at the opening of a three-day regional workshop on
Ballast Water Management for Anglophone West and Central African Countries,
hosted by Nigeria in Lagos. He said growing concerns about the adverse effect
on the marine environment of invasive alien species produced by ballast carried
by ships gave rise to the BWM convention of the International Maritime
He stated, “Since the advent
of the Convention, efforts have been made to ensure effective implementation of
its provisions, among which is this Regional Workshop.
“The Regional Workshop, in
essence, is to support the timely and harmonised implementation of the
Convention in the West and Central African Sub-Region with priority and
emphasis on the ratification and implementation of the Convention by member
states. This is in addition to building capacity in the area of Compliance,
Monitoring and Enforcement (CME), Port Biological Baseline Surveys (PBBC), and
Dakuku disclosed that Nigeria,
being among the earliest countries to ratify the Convention, had taken steps to
ensure its effective implementation. Such steps, according to him, include: the
development and gazetting of regulations on Ballast Water Management, pursuant
to the Nigerian Merchant Shipping Act, 2007; development of an enforcement and
implementation manual on ships’ ballast water; and development of guidelines
with reference to relevant IMO documents for ballast water reception facility
and exchange areas.
Others are: development of
guidelines for enforcement of violations of the regulation on ballast water
management; establishment of a globally recognised and integrated ballast water
testing laboratory; and development of a home-grown concept of Ballast Water
Management and Ports with Acceptable Risk (PWAR), which was presented by
Nigeria to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 74, in May 2019,
among other initiatives.
Dakuku told the workshop
participants to come up with meaningful recommendations and actions that would
help realise the objectives of the convention. He called for more collaborative
efforts in the region to ensure effective protection of the environment.
On his part, Secretary-General
of IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, who was represented by the Technical Officer,
Sub-Division for Prospective Measures, Marine Environment Division, Dr. Megan
Jensen, noted that the marine environment and marine resources were vital to
the global economy and sustainable economic growth. He said there was an urgent
need for implementation of a harmonised ballast water management regime around
the world, with special focus on compliance, monitoring, and enforcement.
The Ballast Water Management
Convention was adopted in 2004 to minimise the risk of species invasions
through ballast water. The Convention entered into force on September 8, 2017,
and, currently, 81 countries have ratified it, including Nigeria, which was
among the first five countries to endorse the treaty.
The workshop had in attendance
delegates from Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Ghana,
Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, and Liberia.