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Nigeria restrategises for International Maritime Organization (IMO) seat



Gbemisola Saraki



Determined to avoid a repeat of the last two losses in previous elections into the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Nigeria has set the machinery to recapture the Category C seat into the IMO it lost in the last two elections.


Inaugurating the committee saddled with ensuring victory for the country in the IMO elections slated for November 2021 in Abuja, the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, charged the Federal Government’s Inter-Ministerial Committee for Nigeria’s bid into the Category ‘C’ Council of the IMO, to embrace “diplomatic and operational strategies” in soliciting for votes that would ensure the country gets a seat in the IMO Council.


She urged the committee to ensure 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, challenging them to work as the country cannot afford to lose once again.


Saraki said the country generates the largest ‘throughput’ in the region and also considering her 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 global maritime organisation.


She emphasised that Nigeria has invested enormous resources in making the maritime domain a hub in the sub-region by addressing 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 domestication/ratification of IMO conventions/protocols.


Saraki further charged the committee members to project Nigeria’s commitments and achievements to the international maritime community to facilitate her winning the slot.


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.


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