Marine Pollution: Nigeria is committed to IOPC Fund implementation – NIMASA boss

L-R: Assistant Director Marine Pollution Control, Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), Mrs. Olawumi Stella C.; Deputy Director, FMOT, Mrs. Julie Abbah; Director, Maritime Safety & Security, FMOT Mr. Babatunde Bambata; Secretary, National Standing Committee for the Implementation of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC), Mrs. Aisha A Jidda; Deputy Director, Civil Liabilities & Compensation, (IOPC) Mrs. Chinyere Azike and Deputy Director, Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Pisagih, during the opening session of the 7th Meeting of the Sub-Committees of the National Standing Committee (NSC) on the Implementation of the IOPC Funds in Nigeria in Lagos.

Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh has reiterated the commitment of Nigeria to the effective implementation of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund regime by ensuring optimal utilization of the instrument in the country.

Jamoh also restated the NIMASA’s commitment to ensuring effective pollution prevention and control in the Nigerian Maritime domain to continue to create an enabling environment for the sector to thrive.

He made this assertion while speaking at the 7th meeting of the National Standing Committee on International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund implementation in Nigeria.

Represented by the Agency’s Director Marine Environment Management Department, Mrs. Aishatu A. Jidda, Jamoh urged all stakeholders to abide by the provisions of all enabling international instruments as provided for by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adding that  the Convention for Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 and the International Convention on Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Damage 1992 which Nigeria is a signatory to remains relevant to the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime sector.

“Nigeria has domesticated these Conventions and we are qualified to reap the benefits therein. We at NIMASA have a register for contributing oil receivers in Nigeria. We urge all stakeholders to play their part to ensure reports emanating from Nigeria are in line with acceptable standards”. “It is good we have a record as a contributing oil receiver and because it is our obligation to ensure we give the IOPC Fund, the names of all contributing oil receivers in Nigeria. NIMASA is committed to ensuring Nigerians enjoy all the benefits from being a signatory to these International Conventions.” The DG said.

Dr Jamoh reaffirmed the importance of the conventions to Nigeria’s Marine Environment Management. He said the facilitation of domestication by NIMASA led to the constitution of the National Standing Committee (NSC) on IOPC Fund in September 2004 and five other Sub-Committees in October 2016, with a mandate to ensure seamless implementation of both conventions.

The five subcommittees include the Sub-Committee on Fish Stock/Fisheries; Sub-Committee on Identification of Receivers of Contributing Oil; Sub-Committee on Compilation of Oil Report; Sub-Committee on Claims Handling and Sub-Committee on Pricing Index.

The objective of the meeting was to deliberate on the resolutions reached at the 6th meeting including; the development of a roadmap for the establishment of a Local Oil Pollution Compensation Fund by local insurance companies; drawing up national guidelines on fish stock/fisheries, as well as the collation of recent data on Contributing Oil Receivers and Contributing Oil Products imported.

Other resolutions include drawing up National Guidelines on fish stock/fisheries; collation of recent data on contributing oil receivers, contributing oil products imported, and quantity of product and details of coastal movement of Low Pour Fuel Oils (LPFO) and High Pour Fuel Oils (HPFO) from the refineries and condensates as well as distribution of COR-1 Forms and carrying out sensitization  programmes.

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