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MD NPA lauds Navy for producing navigational chart for Nigeria

The Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman
and the Chief of  Naval Staff, Vice
Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas during the unveiling of the first indigenous
Navigational Chart of Nigerian territorial waters at the Naval Dockyard,
Victoria Island, Lagos, weekend.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian
Ports Authority, (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman, 
has commended the Nigerian Navy for taking the lead in producing the first navigational chart of
the Nigerian waters.

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,
as she noted that about 80% of the Nations Territorial Waters were yet to be surveyed,
whilst 90% were 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, the NPA Managing Director
observed that efficient management of the Maritime Environment calls for plausible
knowledge and professionalism in order to evolve critical strategies to secure and regulate activities in the sector for proper conservation and
sustainable use and exploitation of the resources therein.

She noted that the day’s theme of
“Hydrographic Information to Drive Marine Knowledge” was very appropriate for
the event and 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 as well
as providing effective Management tools for conservation and sustainable use of
its resources.

The MD also 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 said that through these efforts, more
maritime information would be made available to government and maritime operators
in globally-accepted manner that  would in
turn stimulate effective governance of the nation’s territorial waters and
sustainable use of  maritime resources to
the benefit of the nation.

She 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.

“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, as she said:  “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 Adm. Ibok Ekwe Ibas, who welcomed guest to the occasion, said the Nigerian
Navy was the first to produce navigational chart for the national waters, and
expressed hope that the launching of the chart would further give a boost to
the maritime sector.

Appreciating the Nigerian Navy’s accomplishement, Ibok said that the hydrographic chart was not only for the safety
and security within the Nigerian territorial waters, but  also important for
information on sea and ocean management for national development.

He told stakeholders that concerning the
blue economy and sustainable growth and harnessing of the vast ocean resources,
the chart that was unveiled would be of tremendous importance.    

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