The Federal Government has concluded plans to phase-out single hull vessels within the nation's maritime territory, in compliance with International Maritime Organisation.
The Federal Government has concluded plans to phase-out single hull vessels within the nation's maritime territory, in compliance with the directive of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Already, a technical committee, comprising of ship owners and nominated government officials, has been formed for the implementation of the scheme. The technical committee, set up few days ago by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), is expected to harmonise the modalities for the implementation of regulation 13G, which made it mandatory for member states to phase out single hull tankers from territorial waters.
The committee was set up at a meeting between the management of NIMASA and executive members of the association, led by its Chairman, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, which took place in Lagos.
The 10-man committee, with five members each from NIMASA and ISAN, was inaugurated shortly after the meeting with a mandate to resolve grey areas in the implementation of the IMO regulation 13G, which borders on the phase-out of single hull tankers, and submit its report within six weeks.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Ade Dosunmu, said government was ready to enter into consultation with stake holders in the implementation of local and International policies in the Nigerian maritime sector.
He said such consultation was necessary in order not to jeopardise the interest of indigenous operators.
"I strongly believe in consultations. Let's work together and critically examine the implications of the deadline date for implementing the phase - out of single hull tankers in our country and draw up a programme for its effective implementation."
Jolapamo, however, commended the NIMASA boss for the consultation and expressed optimism that it will go a long way in ensuring that the interest of indigenous operators in the Nigerian maritime sector is well protected.
The agency had insisted on the implementation of regulation 13G annex 1 of MARPOL 73/78 which directed the action by the Nigerian government, eclipse single hull vessels by 2010 on the Nigerian waters.
The notice did not initially go down well with the Nigerian ship owners, who felt threatened as virtually all their vessels fall within the category of those to be phased-out by the year 2010.
The ship owners, looking for a soft landing, then asked for the application of the international regulations by using the Condition Assessment Scheme System (CASS) provision of the same regulation, to enable Nigerian flagged single hull tankers operate till year 2015 or the 25 years age limit as provided by IMO, for vessels on foreign trade amongst other demands.
IMO came up with the regulation and set 2010 for the implementation because of the need to prevent pollution from the ships worldwide.