How NIMASA is ensuring effective ballast water management

Dr. Felicia Mogo, Director of Marine Environment Protection, NIMASA

Creating awareness among stakeholders and fostering partnerships for implementation and enforcement of legal provisions are some of the best approaches the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has adopted for effective ballast water management.
Speaking on the sidelines of a just-concluded regional and national workshop held in Lagos, the Director, Marine Environment Protection at NIMASA, Dr. Felicia Mogo, said the Agency was in partnership with sister agencies like the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for provision of reception facility for ballast water.  

Dr. Mogo also disclosed that a national task-force for proper coordination of the activities for monitoring and ensuring compliance was set up with members drawn from across board of key stakeholders.

She said: “The first thing NIMASA did was to ratify the convention. After ratification, we now put in place a national taskforce on ballast water management in Nigeria. That national task-force has all stakeholders like ministry, department and agencies and major operator of vessels as members.

“It also has a scientific group that is to be carrying out researches and updating the larger group on next steps. We have been able to carry out two training on the biological invasive species in ballast water, and general awareness creation.”

She also said that measures were put in place for adequate monitoring of cabotage vessels in order to detect those operating outside that may want to pose as those operating only within.

Mogo added that: “We have recently carried out feasibility studies to determine where we can have the kind of recognised exchange zone in Lagos area.

“We are also going to carry that out in our maritime zones; we have our Western Zone, Central Zone and Eastern Zone. Apart from that, we have developed a tech system of a sort, like a mini laboratory to be used in testing samples when it becomes necessary.”

NIMASA has also taken the initiative to creating awareness among coastal communities on the dangers of indiscriminate waste disposal that litters the marine environment.