The Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) in Nigeria has pledged to stop the acquisition of obsolete ships or scrap vessels in Nigeria.
According to the association, members are now determined like never before to ensure that only certified sea-worthy ships are acquired into the country.
President of the Association, Charles Uwadia, who stated this said the initiative would be among key issues for discussion at the association’s Maritime Technical Summit titled ‘Challenges of Maritime Transport Industry in Nigeria,’ on April 21, 2016 at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja.
Uwadia said policy makers in this respect would be exposed to the demands and requirements needed, which must be complied with in ship acquisition as obtainable worldwide.
He lamented the large number of ships abandoned at the bar due to failure to meet up prescribed standards for operational purposes, while highlighting the importance of compliance and verification in sustainable maritime practice.
Explaining further in a statement, he said: “We want to use this summit to advise stakeholders, the government on how to maintain their vessels to eliminate sub-standard vessels on our waters.
“Right at the outside bar, you will be surprised at the number of vessels that cannot move or those that are sub-standard because they cannot meet the minimum standard required for a vessel to be operational.”
Uwadia called on regulatory authorities concerned to be alive to their responsibility to ensure minimum standards are met, to avoid down time in the course of operations at sea.
Uwadia said it was important that Nigeria upheld the professional practice of engaging competent marine engineers and ship surveyors for survey reports before any ship would be allowed into the country.
According to him, Ghana as a country has recorded excellence by ensuring a mandatory report by a professional marine engineer or surveyor from the country’s marine engineers’ body.
“In any civilised country, the first thing should be to get a competent marine engineer or a good ship surveyor to go and inspect the vessel and give a honest report before it is purchased.
“It should not be the case of getting the seller to give you a surveyor for the job, who will give a report to ensure that the owner sells his ware, as it has always been.
“Such practices, when not checked, make people buy vessels that cannot even leave the port because they are scraps,” he said.
Also speaking, Olu Akinsoji, an engineer said the summit would address issues in human capacity development for the sub-sector as the present crop of marine engineers are aging and would require competent replacement.
He said the summit would also consider the need to have professionals drive the policies for the sub-sector, for technical input to make it useful to its purpose.
“We hardly have input into policy formulation. All the professionals, our colleagues who were in the ministry have all left; even the inland waterways have left the ministry.
The ministry only has administrative officers. So, when they are formulating policies, it comes out in form of laws before we even know something is going on.”
Akinsoji said the association would also deliver papers to educate the stakeholders on the importance of having marine engineers play key roles in the executing agencies, as well as equipment maintenance, reports One Pay Africa, an online publication..