It gives me great pleasure in sharing this message on the occasion of the World Maritime Day Celebration. May I commend the Federal Ministry of Transportation on this wonderful celebration.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) chose the theme ‘New Technologies for Greener Shipping’ reflecting the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector into a sustainable future. The Celebration brings together the stakeholders in the maritime sector to acknowledge its achievements whilst brainstorming ways to improve the standards in the industry.
The introduction of the 0.5% sulphur cap by the IMO in a bid to deal with Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from ships has given rise to concerns on how vessels can comply and how non-compliance will be dealt with around the world. The shipping industry is an important economic sector that contributes to more than 80% of global trade.
However, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, the shipping industry currently accounts for between 2% and 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions and could be 17% by 2050 if left unregulated. Our environment is constantly changing, and as it changes, so does the need to become increasingly aware of the problems that surround and affect it. These environmental problems are prompting the need for renewable and sustainable energy across the world. The theme ‘New Technologies for Greener Shipping’ is one that addresses climate change concerns and other conditions that affect the environment due to shipping activities.
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.
The time has come ever than before to have concerted, deliberate efforts of all concerned authorities towards adopting measures, not only to implement, but also to put in place accompanying measures to cushion the effects of this change. Africa’s maritime sector is bound to be affected by the IMO 2020 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.
I commend the Federal Ministry of Transportation for recognizing the need to create 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. I encourage us all to be active participants in this Celebration and bring in our best ideas that can have a better impact on the maritime industry.
Finally, 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.
I wish us all fruitful deliberations during this conference and hope that the knowledge gained will equip us positively towards having a better maritime sector that the nation, Africa and the world as a whole will benefit from.
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