By Patience Danjuma
The Federal Government has disclosed interest to be elected into the Council of International Maritime Organisation (IMO), while seeking the support of International communities in Nigeria.
This is even as the government expressed its readiness to curb piracy and marine pollution thereby ensuring conducive environment for maritime business.
These were disclosed during a cocktail organised for IMO member state diplomatic Corps by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyema in Abuja.
Speaking on the essence of the election, Amaechi said, “It is a very tricky election where literally 50 percent are contesting and it is not as if someone would say they have won but it is just that they have cut off point.
“About 45 nations would be in the executive and we pray that we are part of the 45 nations because it would mean that we are part of the decision making body and we would no longer be outside like we were, two or three years under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. This is another opportunity and I hope we win.”
Also speaking, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agencies (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside said: “Nigeria occupies a special place in Africa; in West and Central Africa; 65 percent of the cargoes headed in this direction ends up in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is the first country to enact the Cabotage Act and by the grace of God, we are going to be the first country to have anti-piracy law.”
On the importance of the election, Peterside said, “When you vote Nigeria into the Council of IMO, you are giving Africa a voice, you are giving Africa a strategic position that will give the rest of Africa a voice globally. We are committed to represent Africa in the Council of IMO and we would not disappoint.”
Also, Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyema said “Nigeria’s role in the Council would focus on the promotion of equity and consensus-building.
“Our election into the Council would support global aspiration aimed at promoting more effective implementation of maritime safety and pollution prevention and regulations at national, regional and international levels.”
Nigeria’s election into Category ‘C’ of the IMO Council for the 2018-2019 biennium would make it to be part of the decision making body.
The election, which would involve about 45 countries, would take place in London on 27th of November 2017.
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