A ship laden with electronic waste believed to be toxic and posed major threat to humans was yesterday quarantined by security and environmental officials. The ship, M.V Marevia brought in two containers considered very dangerous and sent port officials into a panic mode.
E-waste consists of old and outdated electronic gadgets and materials such as refrigerators, containing Chloroflurocarbons (CFC) or greenhouse gases. According to Mr Dike Ejiogu, a computer Engineer at the Ikeja Computer Village: “Although some of these gadgets were manufactured for human good, the expiration of the chemicals used in manufacturing them converts them to toxins which ironically becomes injurious to human health particularly when the gases are inhaled.
“Besides, they are also environmentally unfriendly as they pollute the air and reduce the oxygen which is the main ingredient of the air we breathe for life,” he added.
The vessel which is currently anchored at the Tin-can Island Container Terminal (TICT) was quarantined by officials of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) with other port agencies keeping vigil on it.
Sources say the vessel which berthed on January 5 originated from Tilbury in England and that the importers were based at Alaba International Market.
Public Relations Officer of Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Chris Osunkwo while confirming the reports said that NESREA had written to the Command informing them that they have intelligence report that a vessel which is erroneously called M.V. Mavia, was coming into the country with two container loads of e-waste.
Osunkwo said that the NESREA officials in the letter said that the vessel should not be allowed to discharge, adding that the inspection would be done onboard the vessel before it is sent back to its country of origin. The numbers of the containers are ECMU 9894590 and ECMU 9870858.
The Assistant General Manager in charge of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ileya Musa also said that the management of Tin-Can Island Port was aware of the development, adding that the vessel has since been isolated while the relevant agencies were on ground awaiting the inspection of the vessel.
It would be recalled that NESREA had on several occasions detained some vessels that had brought in e-waste into the country.
Some vessels detained before now were MV Maersk Nashville and M.V. Gumel.
Head of NESREA at the port, Mrs. Miranda Amachree, told Vanguard when M.V Gumel was detained that they got intelligence report from their counterparts in Antwerp, Belgium, that the vessel was bringing used fridges, television sets, compressor pots and batteries.