Nigeria’s Quest for IMO Council Seat Boosted as Stakeholders Join Committee

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Eromosele Abiodun
The quest by Nigeria to clinch the coveted Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council seat may finally materialise as world known classification society; including Lloyd’s Register, DNV GL, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have accepted to join the Nigeria ship registry implementation committee.
Nigeria had contested and previously lost the same election twice – in 2011, and 2018, and is currently preparing to go to the stage again by November this year, when IMO will be having its council meeting.

Category C comprises countries, which have special interest in maritime transportation or navigation, and whose election to the IMO Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

In a bid to brighten the country’s chances the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), in Lagos, inaugurated the implementation monitoring committee for the Nigerian ship register
The committee is headed by Emmanuel Ilori, while other members are also drawn from Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) Bourbon Energy, among others.

While inaugurating the committee Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside listed the terms of reference for the committee to include: Review the recommendations of the committee and extract immediately, actionable items on short, medium and long term basis for executive management consideration and approval, and undertake any other task relating to the implementation of the committee’s report as may be directed by the Executive Management”

Peterside, who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, noted the Ship Registry, commonly referred to as the “FLAG” is the face of a nation’s maritime industry and its condition was usually indicative of the status of that country as a maritime nation.

According to him, “This is even more so given the fact that the Ship Registry along with the maritime safety department are charged with the onerous responsibility of keeping unseaworthy ships away from the flag. It was with the foregoing in mind that the primary committee was established in February 2018 and its report submitted a couple of weeks back has made far-reaching recommendations which the Director General has promised to implement as best as we can.”
In his speech, Ilori noted that NIMASA had done a very good job in constituting the implementation monitoring committee to drive the very important process of the ship registry.

He said: “The Nigerian maritime industry over the years have had several reports, but for once, we are now putting action into reports and we want to see results. The Minister of Transportation and NIMASA DG are two key people who are keeping to their promises in regards to the industry.

“Going forward, we have been charged to implement the report and define the best ways to achieve results and we would do it, this is a commitment I can give on behalf of the members, the result is not just for ourselves, but for the sake of this nation.

“The maritime industry is critical to the development of our economy, it is critical to the creation of jobs, national integrity, technical development of our sector, therefore, the job we have been asked to do, we would not take it very lightly. To NIMASA, we would challenge you, as we bring recommendations to you for actions, you would have to make sure that they come to fruition to ensure the industry is turned around once and for all. ”

He added: “Incidentally, this year, Nigeria is going back to the IMO Council, and the Ship Registry is one of the key part of that process, so we would try not to fail you” he assured. We know that with NLNG coming onboard, hopefully we will not fail you because we have millions of tonnages there that should be flying Nigerian flag”

“They are now part of the implementation committee, so whatever challenges NLNG is having that is preventing them from putting these ships in the Nigerian flag, we would make sure we work with them to resolve these challenges, they are now part of the solution.”