The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has commended Nigerian Navy for taking the lead in producing the first navigational chart of Nigerian waters.
Speaking in Lagos on Friday, Bala Usman also called for greater synergy among stakeholders as part of measures to make available a holistic Nigerian Maritime Space Chart.
She explained that about 80% of the Nations Territorial Waters are yet to be surveyed, adding that 90% are yet to be charted “going by recent data”.
Addressing stakeholders and technocrats in the transport sector during the 2019 World Hydrographic Day at Naval Dockyard in Lagos, the NPA Managing Director observed that efficient management of the Maritime Environment calls for plausible knowledge and professionalism.
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 hydrography details, it would be difficult, near impossibility to acquire necessary knowledge for exploration and exploitation of the Maritime Environment.
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).
Bala Usman said: “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”.
She added: “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”.
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.
In his address, the chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas who welcomed guest to the occasion said the Nigerian Navy is 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 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 was unveiled on Friday would be of tremendous importance.
Photo Caption: The Managing Director, NPA, HadizaBala Usman receiving a souvenir from the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral IbokEkweIbas at the 2019 World Hydrography Day at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria –Island, Lagos, over the week.