“Nigeria not ready for maritime decarbonisation”

Stakeholders have tackled Nigeria’s lack of preparedness towards decarbonising its maritime industry in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) move to address challenges posed by climate change, especially the GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the shipping industry.

This is coming after the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) joined other member nations of the IMO at the just concluded 80th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in London, to express the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At the meeting, IMO adopted a revised GHG strategy to reduce carbon emissions to 30 per cent by 2030 compared with 2008 levels, 80 per cent by 2040 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Vice Chairman of Business Action Against Corruption (BAAC) Integrity Alliance, Lagos, Jonathan Nicol, said maritime decarbonisation is difficult to achieve in Nigeria due to the collapsed values of its economic policies, adding that nobody is held accountable for lapses.

He said while the global economy is moving fast through blue economies, Nigeria is busy collecting the wastes that produce air pollution, such as petroleum products powered vehicles and vessels.

Nicol said the world is producing electric vehicles for logistics, noting that recently, Maersk commissioned a large vessel with zero emissions.

“When will Nigeria get there? Look at the maritime wastes along the marine beach canal. The pollution caused by carbonic wastes from factories is horrendous. All the vessels operating in our waters, including our ferries, fishing vessels, tugboats, service boats, etc. are emitting carbon dioxide into the air.

“Nigeria, now, is certainly struggling with self-imposed suffocation. Unless we go head-on with the private sector and fashion out ways towards decarbonisation of our industries and machines, Nigeria might be banned by the IMO for not introducing the required machinery within the next decade when oil will no longer be useful,” he said.

He also lamented that Nigeria does not have the amount of electricity now, with affordable and equitable tariffs to run a decarbonised economy to herald in the green and blue facilities needed by international standards.

Nicol said the ministry of transportation must jettison revenue generation competition among the agencies under it as they have a herculean task of driving decarbonisation policy to rid the atmosphere of polluted air and reduce global warming.

Meanwhile, PortXchange, a digital solutions company for sustainable shipping, recommended that the maritime sector’s success in meeting emission reduction targets lies in widening its focus to encompass the entire logistics chain, especially recognising the crucial role ports play.

But Nigerian ports are far from implementing decarbonisation plans, as a source in one of the bonded terminals at Lagos port, said there has been no electricity supply for the past 15 years, adding that businesses solely run on diesel at a high cost and loss to them.

According to him, the terminal consumes an average of 200 litres of diesel to run out operations daily, despite the electricity infrastructure in place at the ports.

He said even the fluctuating electricity supply in the country cannot carry the nature of the business at the ports, adding that businesses are running at a loss just to remain in operation.

“Government knows what we are facing and how the diesel generation is affecting everybody. We need a steady power supply for business to move smoothly. We are already providing security on our own by contacting internal and external security, which is the duty of the government,” he said.

The General Secretary of the Association of Bonded Terminal Operators of Nigeria, Haruna Omolajomo, lamented the lack of electricity supply at the

Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) command in Lagos over the past two decades.

He said the lack of electricity supply has affected the entire KLT, as companies whose operations are minimal, spend over N2 million on diesel consumption every month for their operations, while those working on maximum capacity spend over N5 million.

Omolajomo also lamented plastic pollution in the waterfront blocking the drainage, as well as the non-proactive efforts and inability of agencies responsible for clearing the waterways to perform their duties.

He said these challenges are militating against business operations at KLT, which is a feeder port to the Apapa port.

By Adaku Onyenucheya From guardian.ng 



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