In a bid to sustain a cleaner maritime environment, ship-breaking criteria, world best practices in Fishing and response to oil production casualties, the Federal Government of Nigeria recently approved the ratification of six maritime conventions and protocols in the country.

Federal Government’s 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; 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.

Others are the Protocol to the 1974 Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 2002; and 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)

Following the approval which was conveyed by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to Nigerian Maritime Administration (NIMASA) to the appropriate quarters, Nigeria has started to align its Maritime protocols and operation with global best practices.

In addition, the Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR has thanked the Federal Government for approving the ratifications of six maritime conventions while assuring the agency’s unflinching effort as designated authority(DA) to draw the gains of the various instruments closer to indigenous investors, professionals and all stakeholders in the country.

According to Jamoh. The Hong Kong Convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose risk to human health, safety or to the environment.

He added that 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, taking into account the unique nature of the fishing industry and the fishing working environment.