The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has eulogized the high command of the Nigerian Navy for taking the lead in producing the first navigational chart of the Nigerian waters, stating that hygrographic knowledge of our territorial waters is key to effective maritime operations.
She has also called for greater synergy among stakeholders with a view to working in unison towards making available a holistic Nigerian Maritime Space Chart in the least possible time noting that about 80% of the Nations Territorial Waters are yet to be surveyed whilst 90% are yet to be charted going by recent data.
Speaking to stakeholders and technocrats in the transport sector, during the occasion of the celebration of the 2019 World Hydrographic Day at Naval Dockyard in Lagos on Friday, the NPA Managing Director observed that efficient management of the Maritime Environment calls for plausible knowledge and professionalism in order to evolve critical strategies that would secure and regulate activities in the sector for proper conservation and sustainable use and exploitation of the resources therein.
Hadiza who noted that the selected theme of “Hydrographic Information to Drive Marine Knowledge” could not have been more appropriate for the event adding that without the basic information as provided by hydrographic details, it would be difficult, near impossibility to acquire necessary knowledge for exploration and exploitation of the Maritime Environment as well as providing effective Management tools for conservation and sustainable use of its resources.
Similarly, she called for collaborative efforts with the industry through information sharing on data especially and joint survey efforts projects so as to leverage the Local Chart Production Capacity already Developed by the Nigerian Navy’s Hydrographic Office (NNHO).
She opined that through these efforts, more Maritime information would be made available to Government and Maritime Operators in an internationally accepted manner explaining that these would in turn stimulate effective governance of the Nations Territorial Waters and sustainable use of our Maritime Resources to the benefit of the Nation at large.
According to Hadiza, “it is worth mentioning that Hydrography as an endeavor, specifically assisted the NPA Management in deepening our channels, expansion of Marine Services to Ijegun Egba channel which were critical for the successful navigation and anchoring of the famous EGINA FPSO”. It equally helped in the completion of remedial dredging of escravos channel, frequent wreck removals along the channels and the success story of the NPA’s recently unveiled Simulation Center at Dockyard amongst others.
Furthermore, the Managing Director, NPA Hadiza Bala Usman said the United Nation (UN) recognized the 21st day of June yearly as World Hydrography Day pointing that it is as a result of the important place of reckon it occupies which includes being a source for revenue generation moderating the climate and being a medium trade facilitation in the geographical space.
She noted that safety, security, and the biodiversity of the environment play important roles in the Maritime Environment, pointing out that “this is why the United Nation (UN) sustainable development Goal 14, lays emphasis on the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas and Marine Resources. This therefore places a demand on Littoral Nation to evolve measures for efficient Management of their Marine Environment”.
In his address, the chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas who welcomed guest to the occasion said the Nigerian Navy are the first to produce Navigational Chart for the National Waters and express the hope that the launching of the Chart would take the Nations Maritime Sector to greater height.
Applauding the feat accomplished by the Nigerian Navy, Admiral Ibok stated that the Hydrographic Chart is not only for the safety and security within the Nigerian Territorial Waters but is also critical for information on Sea and Ocean Management for National Development. He told stakeholders that concerning Blue Economy and sustainable growth and harnessing of the vast Ocean Resources, the Chart that has been unveiled today would be of tremendous importance.