By Silas Onuoha
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA has commenced preparatory works to deploy high-resolution magnetometer to validate the on going wreck removal exercise of all identified wrecks listed for removal along the Badagry Creek in Lagos.
The Agency’s Director General Dr Bashir Jamoh who disclosed this during a review session of the ongoing wreck removal exercise by the Agency also stated that the impact of the entire exercise on the marine environment is being assessed by the Agency.
“We shall also conduct a full bottom sweeping operation by deploying sonar imagery system with a view to establishing any existing natural or artificial obstacles lying on the seabed within the area of survey for this phase of the wreck removal exercise. NIMASA is also taking into consideration, the impact of the entire operations on the marine environment with a view to ensuring safety of marine lives. We are monitoring the entire exercise closely to guarantee total removal of all identified wrecks” He said.
Amongst those already removed include a completely submerged Barge which was lying over 10 meters deep along the Badagry channel on coordinates 711006.1 Easting and 535294.9 Northing. The Agency has also successfully removed two other completely submerged barges beneath the water at 530924.9 Northing and 710608.3 Easting.
Another completely submerged Barge which has been lying dangerously along the channels on 711617.5 Easting and 533601.6 Northing has also been successfully removed and taken to the dumpsite located in Kirikiri Lagos. These are amongst the identified wrecks removed along the creek from Tin-Can Island to Navy Town.
NIMASA had worked with the Hydrography Department of the Nigerian Navy to identify these wrecks as critical.” We worked closely with the Hydrography Unit of the Nigerian Navy in charting the waters and establishing these wrecks as critical for immediate removal. Some are completely submerged while others are partially submerged. This Badagry creek is a commercial route with passenger vessels plying and we place a premium on safety of lives and properties. We are confident that on completion, operations of the Navy in patrolling our waters will also be enhanced as the routes will be free of wrecks”. He said.
NIMASA is charged with the responsibility of ensuring safety of navigation in line with the Wreck Removal Convention that was adopted at the International Maritime Organization, IMO, diplomatic conference in Nairobi kenya in 2007 and entered into force on the 14th of April 2015. Nigeria was the 8th country to ratify the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks.