Nigeria News

Return toxic waste containers to UK – FG

Federal Government has ordered that the toxic waste containers on board MV Marivia Monrovia be returned to the port of origin in the United Kingdom.

The Director-General of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Dr. Ngeri Benebo, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Customs Service and NESREA intercepted the ship with Liberian flag, which berthed at the Tin-Can Island Port on Wednesday.

The names of the importers are Messrs Moronuk David and Bonik Investment.

Some containers in the 23, 652-tonnage ship were laden with used televisions, computers, Central Processing Units, DVDs, microwaves, pressing irons and stereos.

Benebo said returning the consignment to the UK was in conformity with the provisions of Harmful Wastes Act, promulgated after the Koko waste saga.

She said, “We are sending the e-wastes back to the port of origin.’’

She said the agency was going to work according to the Nigerian laws on the matter, adding that the vessel owners would be sanctioned in line with the laws of the land.

The director-general said, “The captain wanted to deceive Nigerians. When he realised that there was a red alert on the containers, he lied that they were not destined for Nigeria and that they were for another country, which was false.

“I conferred with the Comptroller-General of Customs, who said that once it is manifested as Nigeria, the containers must be dropped and inspected in Nigeria,’’

 She noted that officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Customs Service and other security agencies, as directed by the comptroller-general, carried out the inspection of the containers.

Benebo, who said her agency acted on a tip off, noted that Nigeria would not be a dumping ground.

In 1988, a shipment of over 3,500 tonnes of toxic wastes from Italy was abandoned in Koko Port, a coastal community in Delta State.

Also in April 2010, the NCS detained a Maersk Line vessel, MV Nashiville, laden with toxic wastes, lead batteries classified as Basel code A1180 and broken televisions, while in June of the same year, it detained a ship, Mv Gumel, in Lagos port for bringing eight containers with materials suspected to be toxic wastes.

In October 2010, a vessel, MV Vera D, carrying three containers of toxic black and white televisions, was detained at the Tin-Can Port, Lagos. The toxic-laden containers were returned to the United States.

Last December, NESREA impounded four containers of used electronics described as “e-wastes” in Apapa port.



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