The Diving Governing Board of Nigeria has warned international and local oil companies to desist from embarking on diving operations without getting the necessary approvals.
Julius Ugwala, the chief inspector of diving, who gave the warning, said companies can get the requisite approvals from the Diving Governing Board of the Ministry of Labour before embarking on all diving operations.
He urged the companies to adhere to the 2018 Diving at Work regulation in order not to fall into the hands of the law.
On the recent nationwide enforcement exercise embarked by the Diving Governing Board, Ugwala said that ensuring safe diving operations and engagement of competent divers are the priorities of the Board.
According to him, companies that conduct diving operations without the approval of the Diving Governing Board contravene the 2018 Diving at Work regulation.
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To him, most accidents and attendant deaths recorded in-country could be avoidable if appropriate safety steps are taken by diving contractors and oil companies.
“When safety measures are ignored, it leads to fatalities. The board will continue to strive to attain its mandate which is a safe diving sector. One of the ways to comply with 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.
The Nigerian Diving Board recently prohibited some diving operations in Lagos over lack of approvals, violation of regulations, and the death of a diver on one of the sites.
“We are focused on ensuring safe dives and enforcing compliance to the 2018 Diving at Work regulation. Apart from getting approval, there is also a need to obtain the Labour Card and Permit to Dive,” Ugwala said.
Noting that unregulated diving has become alarming in Nigeria, he said the industry is losing divers on daily basis due to a lack of compliance.
In line with the regulation, he said, the Board resolved to carry out audits of all dive jobs on Nigerian waters to close all safety gaps and sanitise the industry.