ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION: NIMASA TO ENFORCE 0.5% SULPHUR LIMIT ON
BUNKER FUEL – DAKUKU
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and
Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that the Agency
will enforce strict compliance to the International Maritime
Organisation regulation which puts a maximum of 0.5% sulphur cap on
all fuel used by vessels by the year 2020.
Dr. Dakuku who made this known during an interactive session with
journalists at the ongoing maritime week in Dubai said that part of
the requirements adopted at the 73rd meeting of the Marine
Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the United Nations maritime
organ was to reduce the sulphur content permitted in Ships’ fuel oil
globally to 0.5% with effect from 1st January 2020.
According to him “the 2020 fuel challenge is geared towards energy
efficiency, environmental pollution control, health as well as core
regulatory enforcement issues. As a maritime nation, we cannot afford
not to comply with the IMO standard which will also do a lot in
mitigating global warming and other related environmental issues” Dr.
Speaking further, the NIMASA DG said that the IMO ban which relates to
fuel intended for combustion, propulsion and operation purposes on
board ships will enter into force on March 1st 2020, adding that all
member states are expected to comply with the stated standards by this
He said it was in the best interest of Africa to ensure compliance
considering the fact that majority of the countries on the continent
do not have the technology to mitigate harmful effects of high
sulphur fuel on the environment, ocean life and human life .
The NIMASA boss enumerated some of the steps the agency plans to take
to manage the transition and ensure compliance. He noted that NIMASA
will embark on massive enlightenment, stakeholders’ engagement and
liaison as well as collaboration with fuel refiners and suppliers. He
also said that the Agency would have a schedule for Pre- enforcement
information before the commencement of the proper enforcement.
Commenting on the best way to enforce compliance, Dr Peterside said
that ship owners , classification societies, NGOs, fuel storage
facilities, and other stakeholders will all play a part in determining
modalities of ensuring compliance .
It is worthy of note that the IMO has been working to reduce harmful
effects of shipping on environment since 1960. The Annex VI to the
International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from ships
(MARPOL) was adopted in 1997 to address air pollution from shipping.
The regulation 14.1.3 of Annex VI of the Convention seeks to control
airborne emissions of compounds such as sulphur oxides, nitrogen
oxides and other ozone depleting substances arising from shipping
activities in order to mitigate its effects on health and the