Nigeria is taking a step forward in the management of its marine waste. The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has awarded a concession for the establishment of an offshore waste recovery facility to XPO Marine Services, a company based in Lagos, Nigeria. The facility will be located in the eastern part of the West African country.
The concession agreement was signed between Nimasa’s managing director Bashir Yusuf Jamoh and XPO Marine Services’ managing director Wellington Agharese. The provider of offshore marine support services to the oil and gas industry will implement the project under a DFBOMT (design, finance, build, operate, transfer), a form of public-private partnership (PPP).
The aim is to reduce pressure on aquatic biodiversity in Nigeria, in line with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (Marpol 73/78), of which the West African country is a member, and which aims to prevent and minimise pollution from ships, both accidental and from routine operations. In its fourth annex, for example, the convention prohibits the discharge of sewage into the sea, “except when the ship uses an approved facility for the treatment and discharge of such effluent after grinding and disinfection using an approved device and at a distance of more than 3 nautical miles from the nearest land”. Untreated sewage must be discharged more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.
As ships move from one port to another, they produce a range of oily waste, wash water, ballast water, sewage (black water), grey water, cargo residues, food waste and other waste similar to typical household waste. Improperly managed, this waste pollutes the marine environment, contaminates food chains and harms marine life, says the Centre for Responsible Shipping (Clear Seas). For the record, Nigeria has six major ports controlled by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). These are the Lagos Port Complex, Tin Can Island Port in Lagos, Calabar Port, Delta Port (Warri), Rivers Port in Port Harcourt and Onne Port.
The management of the future Nigerian Marine Waste Recovery Facility will be transferred to the Nigerian Federal Government once the period of operation by XPO Marine Services is completed. In addition to reducing pollution, this move by the Nigerian authorities will create jobs that will promote the country’s economic developmen