FG tackles carbon emission with CVFF disbursement, new shipping technologies, others

  • Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani (left), Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, and Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, during the World Maritime Day celebration in Lagos

By Anthony Nwachukwu

As part of its drive to cut its carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050, the Federal Government said it would ensure the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to help indigenous ship owners acquire modern ship that are low in carbon emission.

Speaking at the World Maritime Day (WMD) celebration in Lagos, with the theme, “New Technologies for Greener Shipping,” the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said Nigeria was duty-bound to contribute to global efforts led by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to ensure a safe environment in all sectors, including shipping.

According to him, following the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected global trade, with the shipping sector remaining active to service the global needs of a troubled world, new technology to drive the maritime sector has become both necessary and imperative.

Restating the Federal Government’ commitment to disbursing the CVFF to enable the acquisition of newer vessels by indigenous operators, he called for strong collaboration from private sector operators in investing in more modern platforms and assets that meet the emission levels of the future.

“IMO’s identification of partnerships and information sharing on best practices as well as unfettered access to resources as critical to the transition of the maritime sector into a greener and more sustainable sector is not by coincidence. This partnership must be cultivated globally and nationally,” Sambo said.

“As a nation, the entire maritime community has a role to play in bringing about a greener and sustainable maritime industry in the areas of resource mobilisation, maritime training, awareness, job creation and full implementation of maritime laws and regulations.”

On his part, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed the country’s plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2030, and a further 45 per cent if it receives assistance in climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

As the nation’s shipping regulator, therefore, NIMASA has developed measures to protect the marine environment from the impact of shipping activities, such as ensuring that “ships comply with the IMO 0.5 per cent sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships.”

Others include “delineating emission control and slow steaming areas in Nigeria’s ports and its approaches and establishing a National Technical Committee on Green House Gas emission reduction and decarbonisation.”

Towards this, Nigeria will adopt a national action plan in 2023 that strengthen the committee on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships to develop a clear and achievable plan, while there will be incentives, including financial mechanisms, to shipping companies, port operators and others in the maritime value chain to invest in new and innovative solutions.

“NIMASA will act by mobilising and facilitating fiscal policies and financial mechanisms – including donor-initiatives, to support energy efficiency and emission reduction initiatives focused on ships, port infrastructure and other key areas,” he assured.

More so, Nigeria needs global and regional cooperation and partnerships to transition to a net zero carbon emission future in shipping, to share good practices and information, create synergies and leverage expertise.

Similarly, the Managing-Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammed Bello- Koko, noted that everyone was duty-bound to aid the habitat by bringing environmental efficiency and digitisation to the maritime industry.

“Realising that automation is the pillar of port efficiency, we are working assiduously under the technical guidance and consultancy of the IMO to deploy the Port Community System (PCS),” he said.

“This will afford us the platform needed to develop a cocktail of digital solutions that can make ships more energy-efficient, reduce pollution, and ensure the global competitiveness of the Nigerian ports through eco-friendly services.”

Similarly, the Managing-Director of the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), George Moghalu, called for the use of barges in cargo evacuation to reduce the volume of carbon emission to the environment, considering that barges can move large numbers at a go.

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