NIMASA sets to implement offshore reception facilities, disburse CVFF this month
• To hand over MT Green Dolphin to EFCC
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) last Thursday declared that the implementation of the offshore waste reception facilities would take effect from this month.
It also explained that the Sea Protection Levy would be introduced and must be paid by oil companies with loading receiving bouys, oil rigs and pipe lines.
The declaration was made at a meeting between NIMASA and oil companies operating in Nigerian waters.
The agency put the rate payable per annum for offshore installations by oil companies at N15million, saying 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.
This effort, according to NIMASA, was in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Marine Environment Management Regulations 52 and 53 on Sea Protection Levy and Offshore Waste Reception Facilities.
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.
Already, 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.
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 IMO on the prevention of pollution of the marine environment.
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 on Nigerian waters, adding that the same was applicable to potential oil polluters, installations and pipelines.
Gunwa stressed that Nigerian-flagged vessels between 100 and 1,000 gross tonnage would pay N500 per tonnage; vessels between 1,001 and 10,000 gross tonnage, N350 per gross tonnage; vessels between 10,001and 100,000 gross tonnage, N300 per gross tonnage; and vessels from 100,000 and above, N250 per gross tonnage.
Also foreign-flagged vessels that are between 100 and 1,000 gross tonnage are to pay $0.1per tonnage; vessels between 1,001 and 10,000 gross tonnage, $0.15per gross tonnage; vessels between 10,001and 100,000 gross tonnage, $0.3 per gross tonnage; and vessels from 100,000 and above, $0.3 per gross tonnage Meanwhile, NIMASA intends to hand over the MT Green Dolphin to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for alleged involvement in oil theft.
The NIMASA Director-General disclosed this last Friday at a briefing in Lagos.
Akpobolokemi promised also that the long-awaited disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) will commence this month. Still on the MT Green Dolphin, he said that the vessel had had problems with NIMASA in 2011 and had been kept under the custody of NIMASA for about eight months until a court ordered for her release. According to the NIMASA boss, We have decided to keep surveillance on this vessel since that time. The vessel shuttles between Nigeria and Tema (Ghana) and does not report to us whenever she arrives or leaves Nigerian waters. She sailed into Nigerian waters in December 12, purportedly to effect repairs on her machinery and conduct sea trials, and information from her revealed that she was at anchor off Akassa Brass, and further document recovered from the vessel indicated that she discharged about 6,877 barrels of Bonny Light crude oil into another vessel offshore Tema on 13 January,” Akpobolokemi said.
According to him, six crew members and some contract staff were arrested with the vessel.
He claimed that some of those arrested allegedly had made confessional statements that the MT Green Dolphin had actually loaded 700 metric tonnes of crude from another vessel, the MT Vanessa off the coast of Benin Republic.
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