Nigeria will earn approximately N30 billion from the removal of over 200,000 tonnes of metal waste from the country’s waterways, according to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which has begun wreck removal operations in the country’s waters.
On Saturday, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the ongoing removal of wrecks along the Badagry creek from Tin Can Island to Navy Town in Lagos would increase investment opportunities in Nigeria’s maritime sector. He was speaking at the official launch of the removal of wrecks along the Badagry creek from Tin Can Island to Navy Town.
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As Amaechi pointed out, the removal of the wreckage from the country’s waters would create enormous investment opportunities for the maritime sector. He did, however, commend the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, for conceiving the idea of wreck removal across the country and putting it into action.
While I serve as the minister in charge, the Director-General of NIMASA has taken the initiative in addressing security on our waterways through the Deep Blue Project, and he is now working on improving navigational safety on our waterways through the wreck removal,’ he continued.
In a previous statement, Dr Bashir Jamoh, the Director General of NIMASA, said that the start of the wreck removal exercise marked another step forward in the incremental achievement of NIMASA’s Triple S strategy, which is based on Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Shipping Development.
When the wrecks and derelicts are successfully removed from Nigerian waters, Jamoh believes it will help to restore confidence in the country’s waters as well as remove obstacles to smooth, safe, and profitable navigation. He also stated that the ultimate goal of the exercise was to generate wealth from waste while creating jobs for Nigerians
A special mention should go to the Minister for her efforts in getting wreck removal approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
‘These wrecks have a negative impact on the operations of shipping companies, which are constantly striving to improve efficiency in order to remain profitable. As a result, most shipping companies avoid operating or investing in areas where navigational hazards have been identified because of the high insurance premium charges,’ he explained.
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Jamoh stated that the elimination or reduction of costs associated with insurance, surveying, and charting of wrecks would result in a decrease in the cost of shipping, which would benefit mariners and other stakeholders in the maritime industry, according to Jamoh.
NIMASA to ensure safety and security at sea
It is the responsibility of the NIMASA to ensure safety and security at sea, and to regulate the maritime industry in accordance with international laws and conventions, principally the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Maritime Organization’s Convention on Safety of Life at Sea.
According to him, ‘in accordance with this mandate and in recognition of the importance of the safety of navigation in maritime administration, the agency has established the need for the removal of critical wrecks along the Badagry creek,’ which he described as “critical wrecks.”
Meanwhile, Mr Nasir Malik, the Managing Director of Raji Industries, revealed that Nigerian waterways are currently home to wrecks capable of producing over 200,000 tonnes of steel, which is estimated to be worth approximately N30 billion (about $30 million).
Malik stated that his company, which specializes in the manufacture of steel doors, as well as other companies with similar profiles, would investigate the possibility of obtaining wrecks as raw materials for their manufacturing.