The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has called for the development of a national waste management policy in order to reduce marine litter and improve the environment.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, made the announcement on Saturday at NIMASA’s special day at the ongoing 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair, which is being organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is themed “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value.”
According to NIMASA’s CEO, proper waste management policies will help Nigeria’s maritime economy grow.
He stated that if the blue economy potential of the country’s waters is to be fully realized, Lagos State maritime regulatory agencies must prioritize waste management.
“Improving marine litter management will therefore also require improving systems for solid waste collection, transport, recycling, re-use and final disposal.
“Recycling must be encouraged to reduce dumping of plastics all over; disposal of hazardous chemical waste related to agriculture and manufacturing poses another challenge as some coastal communities lack adequate facilities for storage and disposal,” Jamoh said.
He went on to say that marine litter has a global impact on economies, ecosystems, animal welfare, and human health, citing Lagos as an example of a state dealing with energy issues due to high demand.
“The state must begin to explore other newer and cheaper energy sources to meet the needs of its teeming population,” he said.
“Other challenges affecting Nigeria’s maritime economy include climate change, marine pollution, under investment and lack of maritime education,” he added.