The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has expressed Nigeria’s commitment for greater collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the sustainable development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
Amaechi made the remark when he paid a courtesy visit to the Secretary General of the IMO Mr. Kitack Lim in London recently.
The minister, who expressed Nigeria’s appreciation for the technical assistance the country has benefitted from the IMO, also called for more cooperation in the areas of combating piracy and maritime education.
According to him, “Nigeria has already put in place action plans and initiatives through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for the implementation of the code of conduct entered into by the Heads of States and Governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ECCAS and the Gulf of Guinea Commission on the fight against piracy, sea robbery and other maritime crimes.”
Stressing the government’s determination to making Nigeria’s sea ports safer for international trade, the minister said the security assessment checklist of the International Ship and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) code are continually receiving adequate attention by both NIMASA and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
He also assured the IMO scribe that the findings and observations of the recently concluded IMO Member States Audit Scheme (IMSAS) of Nigeria, “is being studied with a view to preparing and implementing Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) within the stipulated time frame.”
Amaechi also called for greater technical cooperation from the IMO with a view to reviewing programmes and curriculum of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron to comply with the 2010 amendments to STCW and support to secure seatime training for the graduates of the academy.
Amaechi also requested for technical advice in converting the academy to a degree awarding institution and greater involvement of the IMO in building capacities of the Academy’s instructors.
Responding, the IMO scribe commended Nigeria for its commitment towards meeting the obligations of the IMO and other international organisations.
The secretary general promised Amaechi of IMO’s cooperation in the areas of continuous training in maritime security, Search and Rescue (SAR), Port State Control (PSC) and capacity building for instructors of MAN in Oron.
While noting that sea time training has become a global concern, Lim said that the IMO would reach out to shipping companies towards engaging the Academy’s cadets on board vessels.
The minister was accompanied to the IMO by the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and Nigeria’s Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, Mr. Diko Bala.