Minister of Transport, Idris Umar
As Nigeria conclude preparations for the hosting of Heads of Maritime Administrations in the West and Central Africa sub-regions in Nigeria for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) workshop, no fewer than 20 countries have indicated interest to attend it.
Besides the 20 out of 22 countries expected to attend it, other international, continental and regional organisations at the level of Secretary Generals and Directors will also be attending the conference, which will take place at the Akwa Ibom State capital, Uyo on Monday.
The international, continental and regional organisations that have accepted to attend the international workshop include IMO, African Union Commission (AUC), Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), as well as the Port Managers Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWA)
Nigeria’s readiness to host the three-day-workshop in the country is in line with her renewed interest to actualise the goals and objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for the West and Central African Regions (Abuja MoU).
The understanding was virtually dead before the appointment of the pioneer Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mrs. Mfon Ekong Usoro, as its Secretary General two years ago.
IMO is organising the workshop in collaboration with Abuja MoU to ensure that member nations of the international organisation are abreast of present trends in the maritime sector of the economy.
The workshop is within the framework of the Integrated Technical Co-operative Programme (ITCP) of IMO and the Co-operative Agreement between the IMO and Abuja MoU. Organised by IMO and Abuja MoU, it is scheduled to take place at Le Meridian Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo.
Usoro, who confirmed the number of countries that have accepted to attend the workshop in an exclusive chat with THISDAY, also revealed that no fewer than three Ministers of Transport in the region, as well as several key industry stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy, will also attend.
According to her, the workshop was in line with the revitalisation and building capacity of maritime administrations in the Abuja MoU region to improve in the performance of their flag and port state control roles and responsibilities.
She explained that Nigeria is the current Vice Chairman of the organisation and host country, pointing out that Nigerian Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar would also attend.
Beside Umar who is also scheduled to chair the opening ceremony, she revealed that the Republic of Congo which is presently the Chair of Abuja MoU and her Minister-in-Charge, Merchant Marine, Mr. Martin Parfait Aime Coussoud-Mavoungou, will also attend.