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Maritime Environment Management


Marine Environment Management Department is statutorily responsible for ensuring a clean marine environment through the implementation of all relevant IMO Conventions. This responsibility is expected to achieve a friendly marine environment free of pollution that will enable shipping activities to be conducted in a conducive and healthy setting. It will also prevent the extinction of marine lives, thus the food chain will remain unaltered and human existence will be assured.


The Department draws its statutory powers from Part XXIII Section 335 of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 and Sections 22(2); 23 (9) (b) of the NIMASA Act, 2007.

  • To continuously solve a wide variety of problems associated with coastal and maritime transport in order to preserve precious marine ecosystems;
  • To protect nearshore areas and offshore facilities from marine disasters; and:
  • To effectively utilize sea space and resources in line with the overall mission of NIMASA in order to ensure safe and cleaner oceans.

To create a sustainable and healthy marine environment

  1. To keep the ocean clean and healthy;
  2. To ensure sustainable economic and social activities at sea.

The functions of the Marine Environment Management Department are generally derived from the IMO Conventions relating to the protection of the marine environment against pollution and any other related Conventions adopted by the IMO from time to time. Broadly, the Department implements and enforces compliance with the Conventions.

In order to accomplish our mandate, careful study of the conventions is required so that the framework and strategies for their implementation in the short, medium and long terms could be drawn.


The Marine Pollution Prevention Division (MPPD) is designed to articulate and implement the strategy for the prevention of marine pollution from ships and land-based sources. Amongst others, the IMO Conventions aimed at protecting and preserving the marine environment and resources include the following; MARPOL 73/78, London Convention 1972, Protocol 1996, Ballast Water Management Convention 2004, Intervention Convention 1969. Accordingly, national guidelines are formulated to ensure compliance with these conventions through the following functions:

• Monitoring and Enforcement.
• Shore/Offshore and Port Reception Facilities.
• Meetings/Training.


Monitoring of the Nigerian territorial waters through aerial surveillance and routine patrol.
Monitoring of oil cargo tank washing exercises of tankers to ensure compliance with Annex 1, Reg. 13 & 13A of MARPOL and other Environmental standards.
Inspection of reception facilities at NNPC/PPMC loading terminals and private jetties, shipyards, coastal industrial outlets, seaports and harbors to ensure regulatory compliance.
Issuance and Inspection of oil and garbage record books onboard vessels to ensure utilization in line with Annex 1, Reg. 20 of MARPOL Convention.
Monitoring and issuance of International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificates (IPPC) as contained in Annex 11, Reg. 5(3.2) of MARPOL.
Monitoring and issuance of International Pollution Prevention Certificates (IOPP) in line with Annex 1 Reg. 5 of MARPOL.
Supervising the carting away and disposal of garbage, sludge, and bilge oil from vessels.
Inspection of anti-pollution equipment on board vessel.
Ensuring that all marine environmental-related projects be conducted in line with best management practices subject to the development of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before embarking on the projects.
Carrying out routine marine environmental auditing and post-impact assessment based on laid down regulations.


Inspection of offshore installations of oil companies and tankers for the prevention of Marine Pollution from oil through laid down monitoring strategies.
Monitoring deballasting and loading operations of oil tankers at offshore and onshore terminals to ensure compliance with international standards.
Ensure adequacy of all MARPOL Port Reception Facilities at the nation’s ports, jetties, and terminals to ensure availability and maximum utilization by visiting ships as provided for in Annex 1, Reg. 12 MARPOL convention.
Develop and periodically review payment of environmental dues for the provision of reception facilities for offshore installations such as Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO), Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) and other platforms.
To establish and maintain a Marine Environment information database, modeled like the GISIS platform of IMO e.g. Port Reception Facilities database, BWM database, Ship recycling website, etc.
To participate in the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of new designs/constructions of offshore installations within the Marine Environment.


Organize educative and public awareness programs such as workshops/seminars for all stakeholders in collaboration with Governmental and Non-governmental Organizations on current issues on pollution prevention in Nigerian waters.
Organize Inter-agency meetings to discuss the way forward on the need to protect and prevent pollution of the marine environment.
To participate at all IMO meetings and programs on the marine environment at the International, Regional and National levels.
Championing with FMOT and Legal Unit of the Agency on the ratification and domestication of IMO International Convention on the marine environment, relating to pollution prevention which is yet to be ratified and domesticated.


The functions of the Marine Pollution Control Division are derived from the Coastal State’s duties. This involves controlling the actions of ships while operating within Nigeria’s jurisdiction, i.e. 200 nautical miles from the coastline corresponding to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), including fixed and floating off-shore oil platforms. The Division implements the following IMO Conventions designed to control ship-source pollution:
• International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness,
• Response and Co-operation, (OPRC), 1990;
• OPRC – HNS Protocol 1996;
• Civil Liability Convention (CLC);
• International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1992 (IOPC);
• International Convention on Hazardous and Noxious Substances 2000 (HNS Convention);
• Bunkers Convention;
• Wreck Convention 2007;
• IMDG Code etc.

The Marine Pollution Control Division also implements the Nigerian Merchant Shipping Act (2007) especially XXV – Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and XXVI – Wrecks and Part X of the NIMASA Act (2007).

The aforementioned Conventions & Acts are implemented through the under-listed functions:

  1. Establish jurisdiction: Marine and Coastal areas.
  2. Conducting regular boat patrols and aerial surveillance of our coasts.
  3. Pollution detection: violation may be detected outside the port, within the territorial waters, or even the EEZ, using both aerial surveillance and boat patrols.
  4. Investigation of violation reported or otherwise detected.
  5. Evidence gathering including laboratory analyses of polluted samples.
  6. Prosecute and punish violators.
  7. Penalize violators i.e. collection of fine imposed according to the polluter-pays-principle.
  8. Environmental Sensitivity Index mapping to determine resources at risk which will require protection in the event of pollution.
  9. Contingency planning for the control of marine oil and chemical spills.
  10. Approval of Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) and Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP) for all Nigerian flag vessels and offshore installations.
  11. Conducting regular drills on oil spill clean-up.
  12. Response to marine oil and chemical spills.
  13. Coordinate clean-up of polluted areas in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
  14. Conducting post-spill surveys and restoration of affected areas.
  15. Cooperation with other countries on oil and chemical spill response – seeking and rendering assistance.
  16. Development and maintenance of marine pollution incident database.
  17. Development of Marine Pollution Incident Reporting System both national and regional.
  18. Intervention in cases of incidence on the high sea as regards pollution by oil and other substances.
  19. Approval of waste management plan of all-at-sea activities including oil terminals.
  20. Production of baseline data for marine environment laboratory index for physio-chemical and microbiological status of unpolluted marine environment.
  21. Establishment of clean-up equipment stockpile.
  22. Ensure compliance with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code with respect to the requirements for every shipping company including tankers for pollution control aspects of their operations.
  23. Establishment of a proper system for the carriage of Maritime Dangerous Goods.
  24. Research and Development on all issues of marine pollution response including future technologies.
  25. Coordinate regional Agreements on Marine Emergencies.
  26. Identify the Scientific Group of Experts for carrying out further research as needed.


  1. Issuance of Civil Liability Certificates to Nigerian flagged vessels.
  2. Ensuring that all shipowners make adequate financial provision for pollution damage (i.e. compulsory insurance.)
  3. Ensuring that all importers of Oil and HNS contribute to the IOPC Fund.
  4. Production of the statistical digest of all importers of oil and chemicals.
  5. Collation and submission of oil and chemical reports to the Fund Secretariat.
  6. Issuing oil and chemical import permits to importers.
  7. Maintaining registers of possible victims of oil and chemical pollution damage – fishermen cooperatives, hoteliers and all owners and types of businesses in the coastal region.
  8. Development of Claim Management System for claimants.
  9. Ensuring prompt and adequate compensation of victims of oil and chemical damage arising from spills from ships on voyage.
  10. Coordinating with the IOPC Fund Secretariat in matters of compensation.
  11. Establish and manage marine oil and chemical spill fund.
  12. Awareness creation for all possible victims of oil and chemical pollution damage.

Maritime Environment Mgt Services