Nigeria announced a plan to rid its waters of marine litter, including plastics, and end the dumping of 200,000 tons of waste annually in its Atlantic waters.
“Being a state that depend on the ocean for our economic activities, it is in our best interest to protect the marine environment,” Director General for Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dakuku Peterside said at the action plan launch in Lagos on Thursday.
About 1,000 marine litter marshals have been engaged to manage waste in littoral communities and enlighten them on the dangers of polluting the ocean, the agency, also known as NIMASA, said. The Nigerian government partnered with the United Nations Environment Program for the pilot project in Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital.
A five-year road map will be implemented by a task force set up to reduce debris in the ocean, according to the action plan document by NIMASA. The body also plans to give incentives to companies to reduce and phase out single-use plastic bags.
Africa’s most populous country, which has a coastline of 853km with over 12.5 million hectares of fresh water, ranks second in Africa in terms of plastic waste generation, according to the maritime agency.
NIMASA is raising funds for its waste management infrastructure and recently installed a fuel consumption data collection device on a Nigeria flagged vessel to reduce fuel consumption by vessels as well as greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions on voyages.
“We are engaging with Department of Petroleum Resources, the standards organization and refineries to see the possibility of refining fuel with a maximum sulfur limit of 0.5% m/m(mass by mass),” Peterside said