The Nigerian Ports Authority has said it will in two weeks time begin the interception of vessels to inspect their compliance with the Ballast Water Convention.
The BWC is an instrument of the International Maritime Organisation designed to check the intake of water by ships.
The Senior Manager, Environment, NPA, Mr Sani Shehu, made this known at a capacity building workshop in Lagos.
He said the authority before now had not commenced the inspection because it did not have the wherewithal.
He said that the authority would be targeting especially vessels from Europe, an area known for high level of pathogens, as well as vessels plying coastal trade in Africa.
Shehu defined ballast water as water taken into the bottom of the vessel to provide weight and for the purpose of increasing additional stability.
He said this water taken from one area to another could be a vector through which harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens are transferred from one place to another.
He was quoted by Trend News as saying, “The NPA has spent so much money constructing its laboratory to test the waters. The treatment facility would be used by the NPA to attend to all conventions.
“In the whole of Africa, Nigeria is the only country that has stepped up its ballast water compliance with the acquisition of this sediment treatment plant, other countries cannot afford it because it is expensive.”
He gave the assurance that the NPA would inaugurate the sediment treatment facility in two weeks’ time.
He said, “For safety of ships and oil tankers, ballast water is required to maintain stability throughout their voyages especially when empty or having insufficient load.”