By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Miniser of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has said that, for Nigeria to meet the demand of the future need in the global maritime trade, all agencies in the maritime industry must partner together to achieve a sustainable future for the industry.
In his keynote address at the World Maritime Day celebration held in Lagos last week, with theme, “New Technologies For Greener Shipping” the Minister stated that to achieve a green transition of the maritime industry in line with the theme of the 2022 World Maritime Day, there is need for private sector operators to corporate and partner with the government agencies to invest in modern technologies to meet the carbon emission levels of the future.
According to him, Nigeria is duty bound to contribute to global efforts to ensure a safe environment in all sectors, including shipping. He said the need for new technology to drive the maritime sector has not only become necessary but imperative following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected global trade.
Engr. Mu’azu Sambo therefore called on private sector operators who are the beneficiaries of government policies to put in place measures to address carbon emissions by deploying adequate resources and technology to address emerging technologies in partnership with the government.
“IMO’s identification of partnerships and information sharing on best practices as well as unfettered access to resources has being critical to the transition of the maritime sector into a greener and more sustainable sector is not by coincidence. This partnership must be cultivated globally and nationally.
“For us as a nation, the entire maritime community has a role to play in bringing about a greener and sustainable maritime industry in the areas of resource mobilization, maritime training, awareness, job creation and full implementation of maritime laws and regulations.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammed Bello- Koko also in his goodwill message noted that bringing environmental efficiency and digitisation to the maritime industry was a duty everyone owed the industry.
Realising that automation is the pillar of port efficiency, we are working assiduously under the technical guidance and consultancy of the IMO to deploy the Port Community System (PCS).
According to Bello, “This will afford us the platform needed to develop a cocktail of digital solutions that can make ships more energy efficient, reduce pollution, and ensure the global competitiveness of the Nigerian Ports through eco-friendly services”.
Speaking at the occasion also, the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye in his remarks stated that the theme is very relevant in addressing specific aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly SDGs 9, 13, 14 and 17 on industry innovation and infrastructure, climate action, sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources and the importance of partnership and implementation to achieve the goals.
In her welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani said that the theme reflects on the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector into a sustainable future through promotion of inclusive innovation and uptake of emerging technologies, especially in the context of Developing Countries.
She urge stakeholders to network, shares ideas and proffer innovative solutions geared towards addressing the diverse challenges confronting the sub-sector for optimal performance.
The Executive Secretary (ES) of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime, in his goodwill message commended the Federal Ministry of Transportation for creating a platform as this where such important matters that affect not only the Nigerian maritime industry but the Global maritime industry and environment at large can be discussed.
While encouraging all stakeholders to put in their best ideas that can have a better impact on the maritime industry, the ES noted that ships are crucial to the global economy and over 85% of all the goods and services that enter Nigeria come via the seaports. Considering this, any transition to greener fuels could be expensive, and consumers will most likely be at the receiving end due to the huge technological advancement that is required to adapt to this change.
He stated that accompanying measures should also be put in place to cushion the effects of this change since Africa’s maritime sector is bound to be affected by the IMO targets and one of the key concerns of African states is the availability, quality and supply of low Sulphur fuel and whether refineries would be able to meet new demands.
One of the challenges is that Africa’s maritime sector is still developing and will require resources and capacity-building to strengthen institutions which are responsible for incorporating international conventions into local law, implementing the legislation and policing the environmental legislation.
He finally submitted that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is committed to ensuring that the added cost thrown up in the implementation of these new technologies does not increase the cost of doing business at the Nigerian Seaports.
Contributing, Capt. Ibraheem Olugbade who represented Dr. Taiwo Afolabi the Special Guest of Honour said that a survey embarked on reflects that the shipping industry consumes 300 million tonnes of fuel every year thereby releasing about 3% of the world carbon dioxide emission to the atmosphere.
According to Olugbade, the shipping sector can play a substantial and leading role by embracing new technologies through acquisition of green ships that are more efficient, consume less energy and cuts down on sulphur emissions.
He lauded the institutional framework by IMO, noting that it is only through these strategic initiatives would global emissions, global warning and pollution be addressed.
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