Again, Nigeria shuns World Maritime Day celebration

Yesterday was World Maritime Day 2016 but for the second time in row, Nigeria did not join in its observance. Indeed, the Buhari administration has never been part of the World Maritime Day celebration.

Before the advent of the Buhari administration, Nigeria never missed the opportunity to highlight the importance of the maritime industry through observance of the annual United Nations-recognised event.

The theme of the 2016 World Maritime Day is “Shipping: indispensable to the world”.

The event was observed in several maritime countries across the globe and at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters in London.

When SHIPS & PORTS DAILY contacted the Director in charge of Press at the Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT), Mrs. Yetunde Sonaike, to find about arrangements with regards to the celebration of the event, she promised to make some findings and get back to us, but did not as at press time.

It will be recalled that last year, the FMOT, after postponing that year’s World Maritime Day celebration three times in two weeks, was eventually forced to cancel it altogether due to lack of funds.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is a specialised arm of the United Nations, created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy.

The event’s date varies by country but is typically observed in the last week of September every year.

Speaking in a video message posted on the organisation’s website yesterday, IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, said, “In today’s economy, people all over the world rely on ships to transport commodities and products on which they depend on. Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and the global market.

“Ships have never been so technically advance, so sophisticated, never carried so much cargo, and never been so environment friendly as they are today. It is thanks to the global fleet and the global workforce of over one million seafarers that import/export our goods on the scale necessary to sustain modern world can take place. But if the benefit of globalization is to evenly spread, all countries must be able to play a part in shipping.

“An efficient maritime transport has helped cause many dramatic improvement in the global living standard especially in emerging economies that have seen many people taken out of acute poverty; in recent years.

“As the World Maritime Day theme rightly acknowledges, shipping is indispensable to the world and the sector remains central to the world economic growth as we make the inevitable transition towards an era of clean and sustainable development. This is a message that needs and deserve a wide audience. Almost everyone in the world today rely on shipping to some extent but very few are aware of it.”

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