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NIMASA set to implement offshore reception facilities

e Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said at a meeting between NIMASA and oil companies operating in Nigerian waters that the implementation of the offshore waste reception facilities would take effect from this month.

It also said that a Sea Protection Levy has been introduced and must be paid by oil companies with loading receiving bays, oil rigs and pipe lines.

The NIMASA Director-General, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, said that the objective of the regulation was to improve and sustain the marine environment by developing a maritime environmental management system through self-funding.

Akpobolokemi who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr Callistus Nwabueze Obiwuzie, noted that implementation of the Sea Protection Levy had commenced.

The agency put the rate payable per annum for offshore installations by oil companies at N15million, saying that oil wells for exploration would attract N10 million per annum from first day of April every year. It added that pipelines would attract N1, 500 per cubic metre of pipe line volume from high water mark to termination point offshore.

He added that the Federal Government in its commitment to ensure the protection of the marine environment and its resources ratified the Marine Pollution (MARPOL) convention, the major instrument of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on the prevention of pollution of the marine environment. NIMASA said the move was in line with the IMO’s Marine Environment Management Regulations 52 and 53 on Sea Protection Levy and Offshore Waste Reception Facilities.

The NIMASA Director-General noted that the convention was domesticated in 2012, to prevent degradation and of land and destruction of the ecosystem with attendant economic implications which oil pollution has caused the nation.

The Head, Maritime Environment Management, Mrs Abiodun Gunwa, explained that the agency introduced the Marine Environment Sea Protection Levy through a marine notice last August.

Gunwa said that the levy must be paid by all commercial operating vessels of 100 gross tonnage and above operating in Nigerian waters, adding that the same was applicable to potential oil polluters, installations and pipelines.

According to her, Nigerian-flagged vessels will pay as follows:

*between 100 and 1,000 gross tonnage would pay N500 per tonnage

*1,001 and 10,000 gross tonnage, N350 per gross tonnage

*10,001and 100,000 gross tonnage, N300 per gross tonnage

*100,000 and above, N250 per gross tonnage.

On the other hand, foreign vessels will pay the following levies:

*100 and 1,000 gross tonnage are to pay $0.1 per tonnage

*1,001 and 10,000 gross tonnage, $0.15 per gross tonnage

*10,001and 100,000 gross tonnage, $0.3 per gross tonnage

*100,000 and above, $0.3 per gross tonnage

Meanwhile, NIMASA said it will hand over the MT Green Dolphin to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for alleged involvement in oil theft.

The NIMASA Director-General who disclosed this at a briefing in Lagos, promised also that the long-awaited disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) will commence this month.

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