Amid the huge ecological benefits of greener shipping, maritime experts in Nigeria have expressed concerns on the cost implications of transitioning to green ships and other eco-friendly operations proposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime observed this while speaking at the World Maritime Day (WMD) celebration in Lagos, yesterday.
Jime, however, expressed optimism that the Council will be able to ensure that the anticipated additional costs will be evenly distributed among operators at the ports.
“At NSC, we are concerned that the technologies required for greener shipping and the innovations would come with cost implications. There is an advantage to move and be consistent with the demand of climate change, but embedded in this is the issue of cost. What we intend to do, as port economic regulator, is to ensure that when this cost comes, there is a sharing formula that makes it proportionate so that shipping companies and shippers share the costs that will arise as a result of the transition,” he said.
While he noted that Nigeria shouldn’t be left behind in the innovative changes with regards to low sulphur fuels, he posited that the IMO deadlines creates ample time for nations to respond to the changes gradually.
“Nigeria has to respond to these changes but we will have to take it one step at a time because we understand the need for this change. We can’t say that we wouldn’t comply because of our immediate constraints,” Jime added.
The introduction of the 0.5% sulphur cap by the IMO in a bid to deal with Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from ships has given rise to concerns on how vessels can comply and how non-compliance will be dealt with around the world.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi admonished private operators to join the federal government and the IMO in ensuring greener operations at all levels of their operations.
The SIFAX boss, who was the Guest Speaker at the ceremony, supported the ideals of green shipping even as opined that the Nigerian maritime environment and the nation’s citizens will benefit from the reduction in pollution.
Afolabi was represented by the SIFAX Group Managing Director, Capt. Ibrahim Olugbade at the summit.
On his part, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Danjuma Goje assured that the legislative chamber would initiate laws and policies to support green shipping.
Goje, who was represented by Hon. Patrick Asadu, stressed that with robust collaboration shipping stakeholders would successfully implement the new IMO regulations for low sulphur fuel and emission control.