The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said the country is taking proactive steps to address its exposure to the threat of ballast water because of the high tanker traffic in its waters. Director General of the Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, stated this in Lagos at the 10th Meeting of the National Taskforce (NTF) on Implementation of Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, 2004.
Jamoh said, being an oil producing country, Nigeria was prone to the effects of harmful aquatic organisms transported across regions by tankers. He said NIMASA, the Lead Agency for the implementation of international conventions, codes, and regulations of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), had in conjunction with other members of the NTF set up a plan for full implementation of the BWM Convention in the country.
The Director General, who was represented by the Director, Marine Accident Investigation Unit, Mrs Rita Egbuche, stated, “As an oil producing country, we recognise the country’s susceptibility to the danger of ballast water and we have put processes and actions in place to deal with the threat in line with the resolutions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“We would continue to update and fine-tune our strategies as new developments emerge.”
All ships, especially tankers, carry ballast water while on voyage to maintain stability and operate effectively and safely. But ballast water has also been identified as one of the major vectors for the introduction of invasive alien species in the marine environment.