20 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — AHEAD of Nigeria’s re-election into the Council seat (the highest decision making body) of the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, the Minister of Transportation Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geofrey Onyema has called on all Heads of Foreign Missions to support the country’s quest as it seeks election into the Category C of the IMO Council.
IMO is an arm of the United Nation (UN) responsible for global maritime regulation.
Speaking at the Cocktail Dinner in honour of Foreign Missions organized by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the yesterday in Abuja, Onyema said that as a key player in the global maritime industry, Nigeria has played active leadership roles in ensuring the development of the sector not only within the country but also in the entire West and Central African sub-region.
He assured the global maritime community on Nigeria’s readiness to ensure optimum performance through curbing piracy, preventing marine pollution, the reinvigoration of its ports and capacity building.
“I wish to inform you that we have enacted proactive policies that conform to global best practices in the maritime sector. More specifically through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), we have domesticated a number of IMO maritime safety conventions with a view to ensuring maritime safety and security not only in our domain but in the entire West and Central African Sub-region” he said.
Similarly, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said that Nigeria has taken a lead role in African maritime sector, adding that the Regional Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) in Lagos, coordinates Search and Rescue (SAR) activities in Nigeria and African sub-region which comprises of, Togo, Benin Republic, Cameroun, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea as well as Sao Tome and Principe.
He added that the Federal Government has approved the establishment of an Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Infrastructure Protection which will ensure security in the Nigerian maritime domain.
To corroborate the Ministers’ stance, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said that Nigeria occupies a special position in the African Maritime sector based on the length of its coastline and the attendant volume of trade.
The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Purwento and his counterpart from Syria, Mohammed Abo Serriah, commended Nigeria’s achievements in recent times and pledged support towards the election into the council seat. They said aside supporting Nigeria’s bid they would also canvass for votes for the country after seeing the strides being made by Nigeria in the entire African Maritime Sector.