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FG approves ratification of six maritime conventions, protocols

FG approves ratification of six maritime conventions, protocols

• June 6, 2023
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)

The federal government has approved ratification of six maritime conventions and protocols that promote cleaner marine environment, ship-breaking criteria, global standard for fishing crew and response to oil pollution casualties.

Bashir Jamoh, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), made this known in a statement by Osagie Edward, Assistant Director, Public Relations of the agency on Tuesday in Lagos.

The approved instruments for ratification are Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009; International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F) 1995.

Others are Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (intervention protocol) 1973 and the Protocol on Limitation of Liabilities for Maritime Claims 1996.

Also, the Protocol to the 1974 Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 2002.

Also included is the protocol of 2005 to the 1988 protocol to the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (SUA PROT 2005)

Mr Jamoh said that the approval, conveyed through the Federal Ministry of Transportation to NIMASA, had kick started Nigeria’s preparation to align with the global maritime community in respect to the protocols and conventions.

He thanked the federal government for the approval and reassured industry players of the agency’s effort as designated authority to draw the gains of the various instruments closer to indigenous investors, professionals and all stakeholders.

He pointed out that the Hong Kong Convention was aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, did not pose risk to human health, safety or to the environment.

“STCW-F is a treaty that sets certification and minimum training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels, with the goal to promote the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment.

“This is taking into account the unique nature of the fishing industry and the fishing working environment.

“The International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties will see Nigeria taking action on the high seas to prevent, mitigate or eliminate grave and imminent danger to Nigeria’s coastline or related interests from pollution or threat of pollution of the sea by oil spillage,” he said.

The NIMASA boss noted that the Convention of Limitation of Liability of Maritime Claims would provide for an unbreakable system of limiting liability where shipowners and sailors may limit their liability.

He noted that except it was proved that an incurred loss resulted from their personal act or omission or commission with the intent to cause loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably happen.

The Athens Convention, according to him, establishes a regime of liability for damage suffered by passengers carried on a seagoing vessel.

“It places liability on the carrier for any loss or damage suffered by passengers where it is established to be the carriers fault,” he said.

Mr Jamoh added that the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (SUA PROT) would result in improved protection of oil platforms and sanction threats against such facilities which are critical to the country’s economic mainstay

He called for the cooperation of all stakeholders, while hoping to engage with them at various stages of implementation in the nearest future.


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