The Federal Government has ordered that the toxic waste laden containers on board the MV Marivia Monrovia be shipped back to the port of origin in the United Kindom, the Director-General of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Ngeri Benebo, disclosed to reporters yesterday.
The Liberian flagged container ship with gross tonnage of 23, 652, which berthed at the Tin-Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC), Apapa, Lagos, Wednesday, was intercepted by the Nigeria Customs Service ( NCS) and NESREA.
Some containers in the ship were laden with used television sets, used computers, used CPUs, used DVDs, used microwaves, used pressing irons and used stereo sets.
Benebo said that sending the consignment back to the port of origin was in conformity with the provisions of Harmful Wastes Act, promulgated after the Koko waste saga.
“We are sending the e-wastes back to the port of origin,’’ the NESREA boss said.
Benebo said that the agency was going to work according to Nigerian laws on the matter, adding that the agency would do exactly what the laws said.
She promised that the vessel owners would be heavily sanctioned in line with the laws of the land.
“The captain wanted to deceive Nigerians. When he realised that there was a red alert on the containers, he lied that the containers were not destined for Nigeria and that they were meant for another country, which was completely 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 said.
Inspection of the containers, as directed by the Comptroller-General of Customs, was carried out by officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other security agencies.
Benebo said that it was discovered that the containers were meant to be disposed off in Nigeria.
According to her, Nigeria will never be used as a dumping ground and “we will resist any attempt by any country to make Nigeria dumping ground.”
Benebo said that NESREA acted on a tip off to track down the toxic contents in the ship.
The names of the importers were listed as Messrs Moronuk David and Bonik Investment.
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