OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has called on relevant authorities to commence the removal of wrecked ships from Nigeria’s coastal areas and waters.
Some of the ships according to a motion by Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun) dated from the second world war.
Isiaka, in his motion, noted that some of the ships carried munitions during the war which lasted from 1939-1945 and that those ships pose significant contamination risks.
He noted that there are over 3,000 wrecked ships “in Nigerian waters from Badagry to Calabar.
“Posing diverse range of threats where they are found, depending on their size, location and the nature of such a vessel and in Lagos waters for instance, the areas that are mostly affected are the Tin Can Island, Kirikiri, Navy Town and bad portion of the Badagry Creek.
“Wrecks have been associated with many grave effects which can have far reaching negative impacts on the environment as they continue to rust and some are warships used during the Second World War that carried munitions which, over the years, have become corroded to the point where they are liable to start leaking significant quantities of toxic substances.”
He also expressed concerns that any contamination from the wreckages could affect agriculture and biodiversity.
“Ocean contaminants are not only affecting agricultural areas, causing navigation hazards, but are also directly affecting biodiversity such as coastal wetlands, river mouths, lagoons, and natural shellfish beds.
“Therefore it has become imperative that the Ecological Fund Office, being the foremost agencies in the country with powers to remediate coastal ecosystem resource protection, among other mandates, should seek to enhance the resilience of coastal territorial waters in Nigeria.”
The House therefore resolved to mandate its Committee on Ecological Fund to:
“Conduct an investigative hearing on environmental stressors facing coastal communities and Shipwrecks in Nigeria in order to;
Identify the root causes and brainstorm with Ecological Fund Office on sustainable solutions;
Develop, with the Ecological Fund Office, strategies on environmental modifications unique for the respective communities along the coastline in order to neutralize future stressors;
And strategize with the Ecological Fund Office on mechanisms and funding for removal and disposal of shipwrecks and hazardous substances across the coastal environment and ensure adaptations as response to neutralise future stressors.”