Following Nigerias disgraceful performance at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) elections in 2019, the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki has reiterated the need to plan early against the elections coming up again next year 2021.
The Minister said there is need to apply diplomatic approach in securing votes from other nations in order to return Nigeria into the coveted Category C of the IMO.
While inaugurating the steering committee in Abuja, Saraki tasked them with responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria secures a seat in the Council of the IMO at the 32nd Regular Session of the Assembly in November/December 2021 at the IMO Headquarters in London.
The Minister also charged the Inter-Ministerial Committee to embrace all diplomatic and operational strategies in soliciting for votes that would ensure Nigeria gets a seat in the IMO Council.
Recall that Nigeria had failed in her previous attempts to clinch the coveted seat.
The minister challenged the members to work assiduously as Nigeria cannot afford to lose once more.
Making a case for why Nigeria deserves a seat in the IMO Council, Saraki disclosed that the country generates the largest ‘throughput’ in the region and it’s commitments to the aspirations of IMO ought to put the country in good stead to have a place in the decision- making organ of the Organization.
Saraki noted that Nigeria as a maritime nation has invested enormous resources into making the maritime domain a hub in the sub-region by addressing issues of port decongestion, reduction of cargo charges, set in motion steps to achieve 24/7 port clearance time, emission control, maritime insecurity as well as addressing issues of domestication/ratification of IMO conventions/protocols.
She further charged the committee members to project Nigeria’s commitments and achievements to the international maritime community to facilitate her winning the coveted slot in the upcoming election.
The committee which consists of the Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMot), Mr. Hussani Adamu, as Chairman; the Director, Maritime Safety and Security, FMoT, Dr. P. Adalikwu; the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh and the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza bala-Usman
Others are the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Dr. Bayero Farah; the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello; the Managing Director, Nigerian Inland Waterways (NIWA); the Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sam Nwakohu and the Director, Maritime Services, FMoT, A.D Sulieman, among others promised to work towards achieving this mandate.