MD NPA lauds Navy for producing navigational chart for Nigeria

The Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman and the Chief of  Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas during the unveiling of the first indigenous Navigational Chart of Nigerian territorial waters at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos, weekend.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman, has commended the Nigerian Navy for taking the lead in producing the first navigational chart of the Nigerian waters.

She has also called for greater synergy among stakeholders with a view to  working in unison towards making available a holistic Nigerian Maritime Space Chart in the least possible time, as she noted that about 80% of the Nations Territorial Waters were yet to be surveyed, whilst 90% were yet to be charted going by recent data.

Speaking to stakeholders and technocrats in the transport sector, during the occasion of the celebration of the 2019 World Hydrographic Day at Naval Dockyard in Lagos, the NPA Managing Director observed that efficient management of the Maritime Environment calls for plausible knowledge and professionalism in order to evolve critical strategies to secure and regulate activities in the sector for proper conservation and sustainable use and exploitation of the resources therein.

She noted that the day’s theme of “Hydrographic Information to Drive Marine Knowledge” was very appropriate for the event and that without the basic information as provided by hydrography details, it would be difficult, near impossibility to acquire necessary knowledge for exploration and exploitation of the Maritime Environment as well as providing effective Management tools for conservation and sustainable use of its resources.

The MD also called for collaborative efforts with the industry through information sharing on data especially and joint survey efforts projects so as to leverage the Local Chart Production Capacity already Developed by the Nigerian Navy’s Hydrographic Office (NNHO).

She said that through these efforts, more maritime information would be made available to government and maritime operators in globally-accepted manner that  would in turn stimulate effective governance of the nation’s territorial waters and sustainable use of  maritime resources to the benefit of the nation.

She said: “It is worth mentioning that hydrography as an endeavor, specifically assisted the NPA Management in deepening our channels, expansion of Marine Services to Ijegun Egba channel, which were critical for the successful navigation and anchoring of the famous EGINA FPSO.

“It equally helped in the completion of remedial dredging of escravos channel, frequent wreck removals along the channels and the success story of the NPA’s recently unveiled simulation center at dockyard amongst others.

She noted that safety, security, and the biodiversity of the environment play important roles in the Maritime Environment, as she said:  “this is why the United Nation (UN) sustainable development Goal 14, lays emphasis on the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas and Marine Resources. This therefore places a demand on Littoral Nation to evolve measures for efficient management of their marine environment.”

In his address, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ekwe Ibas, who welcomed guest to the occasion, said the Nigerian Navy was the first to produce navigational chart for the national waters, and expressed hope that the launching of the chart would further give a boost to the maritime sector.

Appreciating the Nigerian Navy's accomplishement, Ibok said that the hydrographic chart was not only for the safety and security within the Nigerian territorial waters, but  also important for information on sea and ocean management for national development.

He told stakeholders that concerning the blue economy and sustainable growth and harnessing of the vast ocean resources, the chart that was unveiled would be of tremendous importance.