Worries over Nigeria’s vessel acquisition, adoption of maritime decarbonisation
There are worries over the acquisition of vessels and upgrading of Certificate of Competence (CoC) to engage Nigerian seafarers in international trade as well as the adoption of decarbonisation in the maritime industry.
These were the subject of discussion yesterday when the management of NLNG Shipping and Marine Services Limited (NSML) engaged maritime journalists in Lagos.
The Managing Director of the NLNG Shipping and Marine Services Limited (NSML), Abdulkadir Ahmed, said although, the company is supervising the construction of a new LPG vessel for an entity in South Korea, managing the vessel after completion will provide opportunities to engage and employ Nigerian seafarers to run the vessel.
He said NSML has been engaging with various entities including NNPCL with regards to the acquisition of vessels to provide more opportunities for Nigerian seafarers to manage those vessels that are involved in international trade.
Ahmed noted that having vessels for Nigerians to sail, work and train will boost the (CoC) of the country’s seafarers and enlist Nigeria among the countries that generate revenue from export of seafarers for international trade.
“With regards to the acceptance of Nigerian CoC internationally, NIMASA is doing a lot with regards to ensuring the CoCs are accepted. The key element comes down to the comfort we can provide to other regulatory bodies internationally about the standards.
“NSML is available to support NIMASA with regards to pushing that because it also works in our favour. If the Nigerian CoCs are accepted internationally, it makes life easier for our seafarers to want to renew their CoCs. It also creates a large pool of resources from which we can generate revenue.
“For the acceptance of CoCs, there are some fundamentals towards the bilateral element, which means that the other party must be comfortable that the quality of the CoCs is at the level that is sustainable and the one way we can ensure that is the process of assuring quality is standardised and assured by everybody.
“We are confident that in a very short while, we will achieve that because supporting the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime industry starts from the fundamentals of building capacity and ensuring competence in capacity,” he said.
On implementing the compliance with the raft of maritime regulations around greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and decarbonisation, Ahmed said Nigeria needs to have a clear-cut goal and target, noting that if nothing is done the country would be left behind.
“The IMO and the EU have both set ambitious and strict deadlines for the achievement of these lofty environmental objectives, which we, as an international maritime services company, must ensure that we and our clients comply with totally,” he stated.
Ahmed said Nigeria must proactively commence the tracking of its carbon footprint on the vessels, equipment among others, to ensure stakeholders in the maritime sector comply appropriately to achieve the IMO objective of carbon reduction of 40 per cent by 2030.
On his part, the Manager, Training and Maritime Centre of Excellence (MCOE), NSML Dr. Effiong Ekanem-Attah, said the nation’s maritime industry is lagging in decarbonisation in terms of standard and development as well as acceptance of CoCs.
He expressed worries that while everything has changed in the last six years in terms of decarbonisation following technology, Nigeria could be left behind in the global net-zero target.
“It is worrisome because if we don’t act soon, especially the net zero objective, which is a global strategy, our entire skills and understanding of the maritime industry will be obsolete within the next five to 10 years. It is something that has got to us!
“It is changing so rapidly because every time they come up with new and tighter regulations and updates, which have impacts on technology, finance, funding and capacity and everything. The regulation is changing so fast and it is causing worry. We need to distill those regulations down to the local industry,” he said.
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