The National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Environment are putting the finishing touches to a bill meant to prohibit the production of plastics, which pollute the environment.
A member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Tolulope Odebiyi, disclosed this in Lagos at the launch of the Maritime Action Plan for Marine Litter and Plastics Management in Nigeria.
Odebiyi, who sponsored the proposed bill, represented the chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, said the bill would be harmonised with input from the Federal Ministry of Environment to make a holistic law that would impose tough sanctions on the production of organic polymers.
Odebiyi stressed that the National Assembly was solidly behind the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the presentation and implementation of the action plan, which envisions the elimination of land-based sources of marine litter within five years.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, lamented that Nigeria was among the 20 countries generating more than 80 per cent of the land-based plastic wastes that end up in the oceans.
Dakuku said the event was organised to raise public awareness about the deleterious effects of marine pollution and chart a national roadmap on solution to the menace.
He said the action plan was aimed at setting a national roadmap for tackling pollutions, especially from shipping related activities; identifying specific actions that need to be taken by different parties to eliminate marine litter and plastics; strengthening stakeholder collaborations in tackling marine litter and plastics pollution; and establishing a template for monitoring progress in the fight against marine litter and plastics pollution.
Other objectives of the action plan, according to Dakuku, are to operationalise and complement the IMO Action Plan on Marine Litter from Ships; and enhance the enforcement of existing laws, conventions and regulations, including MARPOL-Annex V, London Convention and its Protocol, and the Nigerian Merchant Shipping Act 2007.
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Hon Johnson Oghuma, also stressed the lower chamber’s commitment to a cleaner environment. Oghuma said the House was always prepared to assist the executive in the implementation of government policies.