Vanguard (Lagos)

13 January 2013

Nigeria: Suspected Importers of Toxic Cargo Traced to Alaba International Market

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

Lagos — The Director-General of National Environment Standards Regulatory Agency (NESREA) Dr Ngeri Benebo, has disclosed that the suspected importers of the Toxic cargo intercepted at Tin can port were traced to Umezime Street, Alaba International Market, and arrested.

On Friday, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, the Minister of Environment, told reporters in Abuja that the owners of the vessel had been fined one million dollars to serve as a deterrent. Mailafia said that the culprits involved in the intercepted vessel would face life imprisonment if convicted. Also, Dr Ngeri Benebo had announced that the containers would be sent back to the port of origin.

Benebo noted that the repatriation of the containers were in conformity with the provisions of the Harmful Wastes Act. "We are sending the e-wastes back to the port of origin," the director-general said. She said that the agency's action was guided by the provisions of the laws of Nigeria and warned that "Nigeria would resist any attempt by any country to make the country a dumping ground."

She said security agencies will strive to avoid a repeat of the escape of the illegal bunkering ship MT African Pride from Nigerian waters in August 2004. This is not the first attempt to dump toxic wastes in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, a maritime expert, who did not want his name mentioned, said the security around the ship was expected. According to the expert, the security agencies will strive to avoid a repeat of the escape of the illegal bunkering ship MT African Pride from Nigerian waters in August 2004. This is not the first attempt to dump toxic wastes in Nigeria. (NAN)

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