Abuja MoU to train West, Central Africa maritime administration heads 

Abuja MoU to train West, Central Africa maritime administration heads 

The Abuja Memorandum of Understand on Port State Control said it is set to train 21 heads of maritime administrations in the West and Central African countries.

The Abuja MoU, which has the West and African countries as members states aims to harmonise port state control procedures and practices of all the countries in the region by eliminating the operation of substandard shipping within the region thereby ensuring maritime safety, protection of the marine environment from pollution and improving the working and living conditions of ship crew and to facilitate regional cooperation and exchange of information among member states.

The training, which is sponsored by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will hold from May 9 to 11, 2022 in Lagos.

Speaking with, SHIPS & PORTS, the Secretary-General, Abuja MoU, Capt. Sunday Umoren, noted that the training is essential to enhance the skills of top management executives of maritime administrations of member states.

“Basically, we realised that yes, we could have all the rules and laws, but implementation is key and for implementation in which port state control regime, which we called enforcement, is to yield the expected returns, you must have a buy-in of everyone, especially policymakers and buy-in of the top management.

“We have had some training for port state control officers. However, we think one of the best ways to get the buy-ins of the top management in all the countries was for us to organise training for Directors-Generals. We know that some of them came from different backgrounds. Some got political appointments to be in the office but if IMO partners with us through technical cooperation for us to have a three-day program for all the Directors-General, that would create an improved awareness level and also help them to fully understand their roles.

“They need to know why certain things have to be done in the maritime domain coupled with the consequences of not doing those things. The training is for all the 22 member states of the Abuja MoU. Also, the training is not just for them alone, they are also advised to come along with one senior person so that we can have two people from the member state that can be trained by IMO consultants and Abuja MoU. We hope that after the training, we would see different levels of commitment which would resolve into the protection of our maritime domain,” Capt. Umoren said.