The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has commenced an assessment to deploy a high-resolution magnetometer to validate the ongoing removal of all identified wrecks along the Badagry Creek in Lagos.
The director-general of the agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh disclosed this during a review session of the ongoing wreck removal exercise by the agency. He stated that the impact of the entire exercise on the marine environment is being assessed by the agency.
The agency’s assistant director, public relations, Osagie Edward, disclosed this in a statement over the weekend.
“We shall also conduct a full bottom sweeping operation by deploying a sonar imagery system to establish 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 to ensure the safety of marine lives. We are monitoring the entire exercise closely to guarantee total removal of all identified wrecks,” Jamoh 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.
Recall that NIMASA is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the 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 April 14, 2015. Nigeria was the eighth country to ratify the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks.
NIMASA had worked with the hydrography department, Nigeria 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 the safety of lives and property. 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 assured.