Nigeria to rake in N30 billion as NIMASA commences wreck removal

By Steve Agbota, Lagos

Nigeria as a maritime nation will rake in about N30 billion from over 200,000 tonnes of metal wastes in the nation’s waterways, as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) commenced wreck removal on the country’s waters.

Speaking at the official launch of the removal of wrecks along the Badagry creek from Tin Can Island to Navy Town, Lagos during the weekend, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the ongoing removal of wrecks would boost investment opportunities in Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Amaechi said that the wreck removal on the country’s waters would open up huge investment opportunities for the maritime sector. He, however, commended the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, for initiating the idea of the wreck removal across the country.

‘I am just the supervising minister, but the DG NIMASA has taken the lead by addressing security on the waterways with the Deep Blue Project, and now he is addressing the safety of navigation on our waterways with the wreck removal,’ he added.

Earlier, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh described the launch of the wreck removal exercise as another milestone in the incremental achievement of the Triple S strategy of the current management of NIMASA, which is anchored on Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Shipping Development.

Jamoh said the successful removal of the wrecks and derelicts would restore confidence in Nigerian waters, as well as eliminate obstacles to smooth, safe, and profitable navigation, adding that the ultimate aim of the exercise was to create wealth from waste while providing jobs for Nigerians.

He commended the minister for pushing the wreck removal idea through the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

‘These wrecks inhibit the operation of shipping companies, which constantly strive to increase efficiency in order to remain in business. As a result, most of the shipping companies usually avoid operating or investing in areas where navigational hazards are identified due to high insurance premium charges,’ he said.

Jamoh said that the cost of shipping would drop for the benefit of mariners and other stakeholders in the maritime industry with the elimination or reduction of the costs associated with insurance, survey and charting of wrecks.

He said that the NIMASA was responsible for ensuring safety and security at sea and regulating the maritime industry, in line with international laws and conventions, principally, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the Convention of the International Maritime Organisation.

‘In line 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,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Raji Industries, Mr Nasir Malik had revealed that Nigerian waterways currently house wrecks capable of producing over 200,000 tonnes of steel estimated to be worth about N30 billion.

Malik said that his company which specialises in making steel doors and other companies of similar profiles would explore the opportunity to access wrecks as raw materials for their production.

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