The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has made a strong case for stakeholders engagement and collaborations towards addressing the economic and environmental menace caused by climate change.

Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who spoke at the weekend during the Calabar Carnival programme on climate change, insisted that there was an urgent need for collaborative efforts to tackle the scourge of climate change.

The event was organised by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa led Cross Rivers State Calabar Carnival award winning Seagull Band in conjunction with NIMASA and Heritage Bank recently held at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.

The DG who was represented at the event by the agency’s Director of Marine Environment Management Department, Mrs. Susana Asagwara, said that climate change is now a serious global concern citing the recent Hurricane Harvey and Irma ravaging some parts of the United States as one of the effects.

“Climate change presents a serious cause for concern to humankind. The frightening phenomenon has completely altered the atmospheric composition of the earth leading to an intense warming of the globe. It has continued to pose unquantifiable threat to human social, political and economic development. Of great devastating effects is the unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in Texas and Florida, United States respectively” The DG said.

Peterside also added that the global effects of climate change had challenged every country across the globe to scamper for mitigating factors.

“Global warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as it is now evident in over 193 countries including Nigeria. These countries are no longer standing aloof; they are taking heed to tame this monster. On a global scale, climate change is having profound impact on ocean warming, decrease in polar ice and glacier, increase in extreme storm events and their intensity, sea level rise and coastal flooding all of which severely affect lives in many regions of the world”, the DG also said.

Dr. Dakuku pointed out that the maritime which is international in nature depends on global regulatory framework to operate efficiently; he opined that shipping is the most environmentally sound mode of cargo transportation and a modest contributor to overall greenhouse gases emission.

He stated that in the face of this global challenge that the International Maritime Organisation IMO, which is the United Nation’s body saddled with the responsibility of formulating policies to regulate global maritime activities have joined worldwide efforts at addressing climate change through effective global regulatory frame work and adoption of realistic workable solutions such as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships MARPOL, Annex VI which specifically deals with Air pollution.

He also noted that Nigeria is one of the Countries expected to be most affected by the impact of climate change through sea level rise, coastal erosion, storm surges owing to the stretch of her coastline of about 853 kilometres.

The DG disclosed that NIMASA has come up with various strategies which include implementation of the MARPOL Annex VI as well as the regulation of bunker fuels of vessels calling at our ports to check the level of sulphur emission fuels and other related gases of concern with which the engines might be running.

The event which culminated by the awarding winning dance drama by Seagull Band titled “Climate Change… A time for Action” also had in attendance Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Senator Ben Murray Bruce who was represented by his brother Guy Murray Bruce, The Olu Iwo of Iwo Oba Abdul Rasheed Akanbi as well as a climate change activist Desmond Majekodunmi among several others.