By Ifeyinwa Obi
International MaritimeÂ Â Â Organisation may sanction Nigeria over waste dumping by ships in the countryâ€™s territorial waters. It was learnt that the ship owners have continue to dump residue unchecked by the regulatory agency, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Although the federal government had ordered the construction of a reception storage facility in Snake Island at $20 million. The plant is being constructed by the African Circle Pollution Management Limited at Snake Islandâ€™s Integrated Free Zone in partnership with Nigerian Ports Authority since 2003.
But it was learnt the project is being slowed down by the African Circle Pollution Management Limited The firm it was revealed is four months behind schedule. Since March the management of the company has postponed the commission of the reception facility three times without concrete explanation.
However a source closed to the company explained that the project was deliberately slowed down for undisclosed reason.The facility is a Build, Operate and Transfer project covering the four navigational district of Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Warri and Calabar..
The marine pollution (MAPOL) waste reception facility has three -phase module and sludge separators, vacuum bin, drum beater, first and secondary burner. It is the first world class oil waste treatment G-Force plant in Sub Saharan Africa and has processing capacity of 150 tonnes per day.
Already the company had commissioned a 1,000 tonnes capacity tank farm at its Waste Management Facility designed to hold hazardous waste awaiting processing. Its Managing Director, Mr Emmanuel Ayodele had explained that two others would be installed in Port-Harcourt. He noted that a drum crushing machine with a special cleaning system willÂ treat hazardous waste drums.
Said he: â€œThe Company will take delivery of two specially designed and newly built marine pollution collection vessels by September2008. Two other newly built vessels with higher capacities will be delivered in November 2008.
Two Marine Waste Collection vessels specially designed for offshore waste have been commissioned for delivery in 2009â€.
Ayodele stressed: There areÂ ten specially adapted garbage trucks:Â Â Â four in Lagos, four in Port-Harcourt, one in Calabar and One in Warri. Two 33 tonnes road tankers for collection and movement ofÂ slops to processing centres and 14 operational vehiclesÂ distributed nationwide.Â Â Â Before this time, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) was adopted in November, 1973 at IMO and covered pollution by oil, chemicals, harmful substances in packaged form, sewage and garbage.
The Protocol of 1978 relating to the 1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1978 MARPOL Protocol) was adopted at a Conference on Tanker Safety and Pollution Prevention in February 1978 was held in response to a spate of tanker accidents between 1976and 1977.
Measures relating to tanker design and operation were also incorporated into a Protocol of 1978 relating to the 1974 Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974. Amendments to Regulation 13G of Annex I (Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil)Â also make existing oil tankers between 20,000 and 30,000 tonnes deadweight carrying persistent product oil, including heavy diesel oil and fuel oil, subject to the same construction requirements as crude oil tankers.
Regulation 13G requires, in principle, existing tankers to comply with requirements for new tankers in Regulation 13F, including double hull requirements for new tankers or alternative arrangements, not later than 25 years after date of delivery.
The amendments extend the application from applying to crude oil tankers of 20,000 tonness deadweight and above and product carriers of 30,000 tonness deadweight and above, to also apply to tankers between 20,000 and 30,000 tonness deadweight which carry heavy diesel oil or fuel oil.