12 January 2013

Nigeria: Toxic Waste Vessel - Culprits to Face Life Imprisonment - Minister

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

Abuja — Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, the Minister of Environment, said on Friday that culprits involved in the intercepted vessel laden with toxic waste would face life imprisonment upon conviction. Mailafia made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja.

The Federal Government has ordered that the toxic waste laden containers on board MV Marivia Monrovia be shipped back to the port of origin in the U.K. The Liberian flagged container ship with gross tonnage of 23,652, which berthed at the Tin-Can Island Port on Wednesday, was intercepted by the Nigeria Customs Service and National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

Some containers in the ship were laden with used television sets, used computers, used CPUs, used DVDs, used microwaves, used pressing irons and used stereo sets. The minister said the provision of Nigerian law prohibits importation of harmful waste, adding that the penalties for the culprit would be life imprisonment.

"We have put in place judicial process to effect sanctions against both importers and owners of the vessels. "The two containers have been put back on the vessel and the authorities NPA, NIMASA and the NCS) at the Tin can Island port have been officially written to detain the vessel.

"A letter has been written to NIMASA, NPA and the Shipping Agent that the owners of the vessel should pay to the Federal Government coffers the sum of one million US dollars in favor of NESREA on behalf of government. "A letter has been written to the SSS to apprehend the importers." The minister commended NESREA for their steadfastness, calling for interagency synergy to enforce the ban on out of use electrical electronics. said the minister (NAN)

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