As the Nigerian maritime community joined the 2022 World Maritime Day (WMD) celebration today, the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo described the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) as a veritable platform for the acquisition of modern green ships.
Sambo, who was speaking at the WMD ceremony which held in Lagos, reiterated his commitment to expeditiously disbursing CVFF to enable indigenous shipowners acquire new vessels that comply to International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules on gas emissions.
Recall that the Transport Minister, earlier this month, assured speedy disbursement of the CVFF to enable indigenous shipowners increase their fleet and avail the shipping industry the much-needed benefits of operational ships.
Sambo, however, stressed that shipowners and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will provide recommendations on the kind of vessels to acquire with the CVFF.
Describing this year’s WMD theme; “New Technologies for Greener Shipping” as timely with emerging health issues linked to the increase of damaging emissions and the gradual destruction of earth, he encouraged government agencies and private stakeholders to shoulder the responsibility that comes with greener shipping.
His words: “We all need to recognize that our commitment to a greener future in the maritime industry comes with certain responsibilities on the part of government and private sector stakeholders in the sector. It comes with the responsibility to train and retrain our workforce in order to prepare them for the inevitable innovation and transformations of the future that will certainly impact jobs and skills.”
“As a country, we must not lose out in the future race which will require a workforce of new skills and competencies. Our maritime institutions, particularly the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, and the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) must therefore begin to re-calibrate the curricula to begin to address these requirements of the future. Furthermore, a green future equally implies the commitment by the private sector, to invest in more modern platforms and assets which will meet the emission levels of the future.”
Also speaking at the event, the Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora posited that on the global stage energy transition and cleaner fuels are key issues.
Mamora opined that Science and Technology would play a crucial role in optimising the most suitable green shipping alternatives for Nigeria with emphasis on the nation’s best interests.
“We need to achieve Net Zero via renewable energy certificates, green gas and carbon solutions. All these will be realized through science and technology, but we must be careful in choosing technologies and the deployment strategies that are suitable and best projects the nation’s interest,” he said.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh said NIMASA has developed, is adopting and maturing measures to protect the marine environment from impact of shipping activities.
He explained that these moves include taking steps to ensure ships comply with the IMO 0.5% global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships, delineating emission control and “slow steaming” areas in Nigeria’s ports and its approaches, and establishing a National Technical Committee on Green House Gas emission reduction and decarbonization.
“NIMASA has also taken measures to address the important issue of marine litter in Nigeria waters and the devastating effects this can have on our coastal communities. NIMASA is fully committed to tackling shipping’s contribution to climate change in line with the Nigeria’s Climate Change policy and IMO Greenhouse Gas strategy. We aspire to achieve net zero carbon emission for shipping in Nigeria by 2050. We also intend to play a lead role in fostering cooperation between policymakers, governments, and industry in Africa towards a greener and more sustainable shipping in the continent and its sub-regions,” the NIMASA boss said.
Earlier, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu promised that the state will continue to partner with the federal government and private stakeholders to enhance sustainable development of the maritime sector.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Fredrick Oladeinde assured that the state government is committed to green shipping and other eco-friendly operations.
The WMD event was graced by maritime industry veterans and transport experts including; the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime; Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria; Rector, MAN Oron, Comrade Duja Effedua; President of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung; President of Nigeria Association of Master Mariners, Capt. Tajudeen Alao; among others.