The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has advocated a uniform implementation of a harmonised Ballast Water Management region in the world. The NIMASA DG added that the approach to compliance, monitoring and enforcement should also be harmonized.
The director-general stated this at the regional workshop on the Ballast Water Management Convention (2004) for Anglophone and Central African countries, held recently in Lagos. According to the NIMASA DG, “ Now that the Convention has entered into force, there is an urgent need for uniform implementation of a harmonised Ballast Water Management regime around the world
“There should also be a harmonised approach to compliance, monitoring and enforcement as it is the crucial part of it.
“Furthermore, port biological baselines surveys and risk assessments represent key aspects of implementing the convention and ensuring the protection of the environment, property and resources in your respective countries.”
Dakuku noted that Nigeria has taken steps to ensure the effective implementation of the Convention, urging other countries to accede to the ratification process.
“Nigeria being among the first five countries to ratify the convention has taken giant steps in effective implementation. Among such steps include the development and gazetting of regulations on Ballast Water Management pursuant to the Nigerian Merchant Shipping Act 2007; Development of an Enforcement and Implementation Manual on Ships Ballast Water and so many others.
“The Ballast Water Management Convention was adopted in 2004 to minimize the risk of species invasion via Ballast water and the Convention entered into force just over two years ago.
“As of today, 81 countries have ratified the convention, representing more than 80 percent of the total world tonnage and we know that other countries are currently in the ratification process, Dakuku added.