By Godwin Oritse & Godfrey Bivbere
The Managing DiÂ Â Â rector, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mallam Abdulsalam Mohammed, has enjoined managers of Ports in West and Central African countries to adopt the provisions of the Nigerian Port Environmental Policy for their ports environmental requirements.
Abdulsalam stated that, the Nigerian Port environmental policy will be suitable for ports in West and Central African countries considering the peculiar environment within which the seaports in the sub-regions operate.
He stated this whileÂ making a presentation in a paper titled, â€œImplementing Port Environmental Policy _ The case of Nigeriaâ€, at the just concluded 33rd Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) Council meeting, which took place at Banjul, the Gambia.
He was represented at the occasion by the Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Mr. Joshua Asanga.The Managing Director explained that the goal of the Nigerian Ports Environmental Policy is to achieve and sustain a healthy environment that will be conducive to safe, secure and unhindered maritime transport, adding that the, â€œPolicy aims at cooperating with other countries, International organisations and agencies to achieve optimal use of trans-boundary maritime transport and effective prevention or abatement of trans-boundary environmental degradation.â€
Malam Abdulsalam pointed out that the Nigerian Port Environmental Policy which is from the national environmental Policy is anchored on the sustainable development principles which encourage pollution prevention, control and clearing up in the Port industry.
Commenting on sanitation and waste Management in the nationâ€™s ports, the Managing Director reiterated the efforts of the Port Management to handle both the ship and port generated wastes in the nationâ€™s seaports.
To meet all the requirement s of handling all ship generated wastes, as stipulated by the MARPOL 73/78 convention, he said the NPA had in 2005, entered into contract with African Circle Limited (ACL) to provide port waste reception facilities in its four navigational districts in Lagos, Bonny/Portharcourt, Calabar and Warri.
He pointed out that between its inception in October 2004 to April 2010, a total number of 20,148 ships with a cumulative GRT of 348, 894, 656 has been inspected for MARPOL compliance, 70,141 metric tons (mt) of waste oil and 5,148,787 kilogram of garbage have been collected and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.
Under the Port generated wastes, Malam Abdulsalam explained that as a regulator under the present concession regime, the NPA require Environmental Management Plan (EMP) from each terminal operator as approved by the Organisationâ€™s Environment Department.
He told the participants at the meeting that conscious efforts have been made to bring in the private sector to partner with public sector in the implementation of Port environmental policy.