Nigeria seeks partnership with IMO

By Moses Ebosele

TO sustain development in the maritime sector, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has expressed Nigeria’s commitment to further partner the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Speaking in London recently when he paid a courtesy visit to the Secretary General of the IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, Amaechi expressed the appreciation of Nigeria for the Technical Assistance the country has benefitted from the IMO

He also called for more cooperation in the areas of combating piracy and maritime education.

He informed the IMO Secretary General that “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 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 make Nigeria’s sea ports safer for international trade, the Minister, according to a statement issued by NIMASA’s head of Public Relations, Lami Tumaka, explained that  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”.

The Minister 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.

According to the statement, 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, Mr. Kitack Lim commended Nigeria for its commitment towards meeting the obligations of the IMO and other International Organisations.

The Secretary General promised assured the Minister of the cooperation of the IMO in the areas of continuous training in Maritime Security, Search and Rescue (SAR), Port State Control (PSC) and capacity building for Instructors of MAN Oron

While noting that sea time training has become a global concern, Mr. Lim said that the IMO would reach out to shipping companies towards engaging the Academy’s cadets on board vessels.

The Hon. 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.

*Contact Editor through Citybusinessnews@yahoo.com