The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is to enforce strict compliance with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation prohibiting ships from burning marine fuels with sulphur content higher than 0.5 pct by 2020.
Dakuku Peterside, Director General of NIMASA, announced this during UAE Maritime Week in Dubai held from October 28 to November 1, 2018.
As explained by Peterside, part of the requirements adopted at the 73rd meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) was to reduce the sulphur content permitted in ships’ fuel oil globally to 0.5 pct with effect from January 1, 2020.
“The 2020 fuel challenge is geared towards energy efficiency, environmental pollution control, health as well as core regulatory enforcement issues. As a maritime nation, we cannot afford not to comply with the IMO standard which will also do a lot in mitigating global warming and other related environmental issues,” Peterside said.
Speaking further, Peterside said that the IMO ban which relates to fuel intended for combustion, propulsion and operation purposes on board ships will enter into force on March 1, 2020, adding that all member states are expected to comply with the stated standards by this date.
He said it was in the best interest of Africa to ensure compliance considering the fact that majority of the countries on the continent do not have the technology to mitigate harmful effects of high sulphur fuel on the environment, ocean life and human life.
Specifically, NIMASA intends to embark on “massive enlightenment, stakeholders’ engagement and liaison as well as collaboration with fuel refiners and suppliers”. Additionally, the agency would have a schedule for pre-enforcement information before the commencement of the proper enforcement.
Peterside further said that ship owners, classification societies, NGOs, fuel storage facilities, and other stakeholders will all play a part in determining modalities of ensuring compliance.