The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that Nigeria is set to benefit from the deep sea mining through effective harnessing of the opportunities by working with the International Seabed Authority (ISBA).
The NIMASA DG who made this known at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) held in Kingston, Jamaica said that irrespective of the numerous resources in Nigeria, there was the need to work more closely with the ISBA in the area of seabed resources exploration.
Dr. Peterside who led the Nigerian Delegation to the event commended ISBA on its role in the optimal utilization of seabed resources among maritime stakeholders and solicited for assistance in the area of capacity building to survey deep sea and establish data base of mineral resources available for the benefit of all mankind.
He stated further that the Federal Government is currently developing policies that will aid the harnessing of seabed resources and will be working closely with the ISBA.
According to Dr. Peterside, "the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Transportation is developing a country blue economy policy and strategy which will incorporate the sustainable development of the country's deep seabed resources".
Speaking further, he said at the moment the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic office has been undertaking hydrographic survey and charting of our maritime area, and added that in the same vein NIMASA is working with Nigerian Navy to effectively enforce the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea and other relevant international maritime instruments to which we are a party around our continental shelf.
He also noted that, while seeking exploitation of the mineral resources within the Seabed off our national maritime jurisdiction, marine environment preservation and protection will continue to be given top priority.
Dr. Dakuku used the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Michael Lodge of the United Kingdom on his appointment as Secretary General of ISBA Council and Eugenio Joao Muianga of Mozambique on his election as President of the Authority's 23rd session.
He added that Africa is proud of the feat of Eugenio Joao Muianga and pledged that Nigeria is ready to cooperate with and support the work of the Authority while looking forward to benefiting from available opportunities.
The International Seabed Authority is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Authority, which has its headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, came into existence on 16 November 1994, upon the entry into force of the 1982 Convention and as at July 25, 2016 it has 168 member countries of which Nigeria is one.