The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that every vessel that plied the nation’s waters must pay Sea Protection Levy (SPL). Mrs Julian Gunwa, Director, Marine Environment Management Department, said this in a meeting with shipping companies in Lagos. She said that NIMASA was empowered to collect the levy.
“The Federal Government Official Gazette Number 158 Marine Environment Management Regulation 2012 empowers NIMASA to impose levies on all commercially operating vessels of 100 gross tonnages and above,” she said.
Gunwa was delivering a paper on “Implementation of Marine Environment Management Regulations 52 and 53 on Sea Protection Levy and offshore Waste Reception Facilities”. She said any ship that defaulted in the payment of the levies might be detained by NIMASA at any port or jetty until the levy was paid.
“SPL payable will be recovered in court by bringing legal action against the ship and its owner,” she said. Gunwa said that NIMASA already had a vessel called ‘Jumbo Explorer’ that provided a framework on waste generated from ships and offshore installation.
Gunwa said that all offshore installations would pay the offshore waste reception facility charges per annum ranging from one dollar to 1.50 dollars.
“Any violation committed to the non compliance of the offshore waste shall attract a fine of N10 million for individuals and N20 million for corporate bodies,” she said. She urged stakeholders to work together towards achieving a maritime environment management system in line with best international practises.
Mr Emeka Akabogua, the legal adviser to NIMASA, said that the legal framework and regulations were created to ensure enforcement of the legislation. “The legislation is international conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory and is only just trying to implement,” he said.