The Secretary-General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr Paul Adalikwu, has requested technical collaboration with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) towards recommending Nigeria’s anti-piracy law to other member countries.
Adalikwu, who said this in Lagos, on Monday, during a visit to the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, also lauded the gains recorded by Nigeria in suppressing maritime crimes leading to the country’s removal from the list of high-risk maritime countries.
The MOWCA Secretary-General who was in NIMASA as part of his maiden official visit to Nigeria since assuming office in January described the country’s Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act as effective legislation that has redefined the fight against maritime crimes in the country.
According to him, MOWCA will showcase the Act for other member countries to remodel their anti-piracy laws to achieve harmonisation and cohesion in the drive for a safer and secure maritime domain in the sub-regions.
Adalikwu added that countries like Gambia, Cameroon and others in MOWCA have requested, through his office for technical collaboration to further develop their respective maritime administrations.
While calling for continuous support for MOWCA from NIMASA, Adalikwu said a total of ten countries have so far signed up for the charter of the Regional Maritime Development Bank, that will be launched soon in Abuja.
MOWCA, according to Adalikwu has a new strategic plan with an organogram covering the four departments provided for in its charter of establishment.
Responding, Jamoh described MOWCA as keeping to the promises Nigeria made during the campaigns in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Accra, Ghana in the run-up to the election.
The NIMASA DG also urged Adalikwu to synchronise his economy plan with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, particularly in the area of maritime trade and provision of reliable statistical shipping data.
Jamoh said MOWCA as an international organisation used to be helpful in availing maritime industry experts and professionals with information on country by country cargo tonnage to appraise the level of trade in the region.
He called for a stronger MOWCA presence in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) being a body representing 25 maritime countries with critical impact on global maritime trade.
The NIMASA DG said his agency was willing to release professional, technical and highly competent personnel to MOWCA upon request by the Secretary-General to help him achieve his objectives for the 47-year-old organisation.