This second part in the series on Hydrography and safe navigation, Olumide Omotoso, talks on the aspect of responsibility undertaken by Nigeria in data collection for charting the waters. He tells Marine Network the vital role being played by the UK Hydrographic Office in charting the Nigerian waters for international uploads.
“The status today is that, Nigeria, through the various institutions and organs still gather data by ourselves and produce local charts. But this data is still being sent to what we call, under the international hydrographic organizations management of all the seas and the regions, and is sent to the United Kingdom hydrographic office because they are in charge of our region.
But the essence is that they have the capacity and they have been doing that for like a hundred years. And Nigeria is not the only country that the UK superintends because they have the facility.
So, what we do is that, our data is gathered after the bathometric survey, we send it to the United Kingdom hydrographic office. But we have an arrangement with them, where we get the data and they put it in the international chart, because we do international shipping in the ports.
So, you want to put that data in an international chart, not left in the local chart. The chart is updated regularly and what we have now, reads 2015. All mariners, shippers coming to Nigeria, can get it.
Even, there is an improvement recently; they are able to produce electronic chart according to the IMO Standard that from 2016 forward they should use electronic chart.
“Nigeria today can say it belongs to the comity of nations that is producing electronic navigational charts. The ultimate though is that we want a situation where Nigeria can produce electronic navigational chart because this is just technology.”