14 January 2013

Nigeria: Toxic Ship - FG Fines Owners U.S.$1 Million

Photo: Vanguard
Some of the ship’s content being examined.

The Federal Government has slammed a fine of $1 million on owners of the ship, M.V Marevia, that brought in two containers of toxic materials.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, has written to the State Security Service, SSS, informing the Service of the need to take action against importers of the offensive cargo, (names with held).

Disclosing this to Vanguard, Director General of NESREA, Dr. Ngeri Benebo, said the Minister has directed that the owners of the vessel pay a fine of $1 million to serve as a deterrent to others.

Benebo said her agency had written to SSS to take action when it got intelligence report that some suspected deadly consignments were on their way to the country.

She informed that NESREA wrote again to the security outfit last Friday when it was confirmed that the cargo actually contained toxic waste.

She explained that the agency got the information through its international network before the vessel left its port of origin on December 21, 2012, adding that they monitored the ship's movement until it got to Nigeria on the 5th of this month.

Benebo pointed out that after the examination, it was confirmed that the consignments were all used items and, adding that the items did not meet the international procedure for the exportation of used electronic items from one country to another.

According to her,, for any used item to be exported, there must be a certificate to show that the items were still useful.

It must be in line with the internationally accepted mode of packaging for export which states that such items must be well packaged with all the accessories in place, she said.

She said that the cards of such items must be in place. This is not the case with the consignments that were brought into the country, she added.

She said that the problem of e-waste was of great concern globally, noting that it was the reason why NESREA was fighting such incidence.

She further explained that the accepted norm for exportation of such items internationally is for the receiving country to be informed of the intention to ship such items there and that the receiving country most accept that they want the shipment.

According to her, if the waste is to be shipped to Nigeria, "They most inform me and I have to accept that I will take the waste."

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