By Sandra Chukwunyere
The Federal Government has said it is determined to protect the marine environment from the impacts of shipping activities to enable the country achieve net zero carbon emission for shipping by 2050 in line with the policy of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Speaking at the 2022 World Maritime Day celebration organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Lagos on Thursday, with the theme ‘New Technologies for Greener Shipping,’ Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, Minister of Transportation, said Nigeria is committed to the disbursement of the much-awaited Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), to enable ship owners to acquire newer ships with modern technologies that would reduce environmental hazard.
He said private sector operators need to commit to investing in more modern platforms and assets that will meet the emission levels of the future.
The minister added that the entire maritime community has a role to play in bringing about a greener and sustainable maritime industry in the areas of resource mobilisation, maritime training, awareness, job creation and full implementation of maritime laws and regulations.
He called on the private sector operators, who are the beneficiaries of policies put in place by the government to address carbon emission to support the full implementation and deploy adequate resources and emerging technologies in partnership with the government to address carbon emission.
Speaking also, Director General Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said Nigeria plans to cut its Greenhouse Gas emissions intensity by 20 percent by 2030, and a further 45 percent reduction conditional on receiving climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building.
He said Nigeria will adopt a National Action Plan in 2023 that will ensure that the National Technical Committee on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships will be strengthened and tasked to develop a clear and achievable plan.
He said there would be provision of incentives and financial mechanisms to shipping companies, port operators, and others in the maritime value chain to invest in new enterprise and innovative solutions.
According to him, “NIMASA will act by mobilising and facilitating fiscal policies and financial mechanisms – including donor initiatives to support energy efficiency and emission reduction initiatives focused on ships, port infrastructure, and other key areas,” he said.
Jamoh said that Nigeria needs global and regional cooperation and partnerships to transit to a net zero carbon emission future in shipping to share good practices and information, create synergies, and leverage expertise.
He added that the agency will also take steps to ensure ships comply with the IMO 0.5 percent global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships, delineating emission control and slow steaming areas in Nigeria’s ports.
While delivering a good will message, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the NPA is poised to embrace partnerships, support policies and actions steps aimed at optimising the advantages that the endowment of over a hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas can bring to bear on Nigeria’s economy.
“Realising that automation is the pillar of port efficiency, we are working assiduously under the technical guidance and consultancy of the IMO to deploy the Port Community System (PCS) which will afford us the platform needed to develop a cocktail of digital solutions that can make ships more energy-efficient, reduce pollution, and ensure the global competitiveness of the Nigerian Ports through eco-friendly services”, he said.
On his part, Dr George Moghalu, Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), called for the use of barges in cargo evacuation to cut down the volume of carbon emission to the environment considering the fact that barges can move large numbers at a go.