Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dayo Mobereola, has urged the private sector to partner with it to unlock the immense potential in the Marine and Blue Economy.

Mobereola made the call on Thursday during the handing over of the Offshore Waste Reception Facility for Central zone to the concessionaire, African Circle Pollution Management Limited, in Warri, Delta State.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mobereola, who was represented by Mr Kabiru Diso, urged shipping companies, local and international oil companies and other stakeholders operating in the Nigerian waterways to actively cooperate with the concessionaires.

He said that their cooperation was vital not only for regulatory compliance, but for the preservation of aquatic lives and sustainability of the Blue Economy.

“Today is a significant and remarkable day, not just because we are handing over the site for the commencement of the implementation phase of the project,” Mobereola said.

“It represents the success of the commitment of the entities from the public and private sectors coming together to achieve a common goal of proper, effective and efficient collection and disposal of waste on our waters.

“This partnership holds immense benefits to the stakeholders involved. It allows us to develop critical infrastructure assets that meet immediate and long-term needs of the maritime sector and amongst others.

“I invite the private sector entities to explore the numerous investment opportunities in the maritime environment and partner NIMASA to establish a robust infrastructure that drives economic growth in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.

“I urge stakeholders to recognise the significance of this Offshore Waste Reception Facility, and the greater responsibility it brings. So let’s work together to ensure its success,” he said.

The NIMASA boss said that the project was Public-Private Partnership-driven, aimed at ensuring a clean and safe marine environment in line with the MARPOL conventions.

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Also speaking, NIMASA Coordinator, Central zone, Mr Mohammed Bappa, expressed joy that the project was launched in his zone.

He said that with the inauguration of the project, the era of indiscriminate waste disposal was over.

He said that anyone caught abusing the waters would be severely punished according to the law.

Head, Public-Private Partnership, Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Bernard Alaeto, said that the ministry would give the concessionaire all the necessary support to succeed.

Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Joe Ohiani, said that the project was basically midwifed by the commission from inception till date.

Ohiani, who was represented by Assistant Chief Infrastructure Officer at ICRC, Mr Ezeja Chidiebere, said that the commission would ensure that the contract agreement between the government and the concessionaire was strictly adhered to.

In his remark, the Chief Executive Officer of the African Circle Pollution Management Ltd., Mr Umar Abubakar, said that the project was a dream come true.

“It is one of those things that show that Nigeria is definitely on the part of ensuring that compliance is fully followed,” he said.

The high point of the occasion was the inspection of facilities of the African Circle Pollution Management Ltd. by NIMASA officials at the Delta Ports.