Nigeria’s Chief Inspector of Diving, Mr. Julius Ugwala has admonished all multinational and local companies to get requisite approvals from the Diving Governing Board of Ministry of Labour before the commencement of all diving operations and to pursue adherence to the 2018 Diving at Work regulation so as not to fall into the hands of the law.
Ugwala stated this on Monday in Lagos while speaking on the recent nationwide enforcement exercise embarked by the Diving Governing Board.
Ugwala who noted that ensuring safe dive operations and engagement of competent divers are the priorities of the Board said that organisations which conduct diving operations without the approval of the Diving Governing Board contravene the 2018 Diving at Work regulation.
He added that most deaths and accidents recorded in-country are avoidable if appropriate safety steps are consciously taken by diving contractors and International Oil Companies (IOC) and the Board given the room to do its work as stipulated by the law.
“When safety measures are ignored, it leads to fatalities and sometimes this happens so fast. The board will continue to strive to attain its mandate which is a safe diving sector. One of the ways to comply with safe diving regulations is to apply to the Director of Diving informing the Board of the intention to carry out diving activities and obtaining a proper approval,” he said.
Recall that the Nigerian Diving Board recently prohibited some diving operations in Lagos for operating without approvals, violating other regulations and following the death of a diver on one of the sites.
Speaking against that backdrop, Ugwala said: “We are focused on ensuring safe dives and enforcing compliance to the 2018 Diving at Work regulation. The regulation stipulates that before any diving commences on Nigerian territorial waters, there must be an approval. Besides that, there is also something known as Labour Card and Permit to Dive. Organisations should endeavour to obtain them.”
Lamenting that unregulated diving operations has become alarming in the country, he posited that the consequence is that divers are dying on daily basis.
As a result, he said that in line with the regulation, the Board is resolved to carry out audits of all dive jobs on Nigerian waters to close all safety gaps and sanitise the industry while ensuring safe diving operations.
He further implored IOCs and Diving Contractors to ensure that trainee supervisors have access to panel hours as this will help with beefing up confidence in the sector.