Nigeria yanked off IMO White List
• It’s not true, says Alternate Perm Rep
A thick air of controversy is wrapped around the exact position of Nigeria on the current The White List of the specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
There are sharp division of opinions on the matter of if Nigeria is in the current IMO White List, or not.
The White List is a list of countries assessed by the IMO, as properly implementing the STCW-95 Convention, the International Convention on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, which came into force in 1995.
The President, Association of (Nigerian) Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES), Engr. Charles Uwadia, kick-started the debate when the association briefed the press last Tuesday at the International Maritime Press Centre, Apapa, Lagos.
Flanked by other AMES members, including Nigeria’s first Permanent Representative at the IMO, Engr. Olu Akinsoji, Uwadia had informed the journalists that Nigeria had been removed from the IMO White List, owing to the nation’s unimpressive maritime domain safety and security profile.
However, when contacted by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, incumbent Nigeria Permanent Representative at the IMO, Capt. Ibrahim Olugbade, categorically stated that Nigeria was very much still on the current IMO White List.
However, the President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Capt. Adewale Ishola, adopted a somewhat middle-of-road position in the argument, as he told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that he did not think that Nigeria had lost her placing in the IMO White List.
The position of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron and that of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) could not be obtained as several telephones calls placed to the Rector of the academy, Mr. Joshua Okpo and Director Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards of NIMASA, Captain Enisuoh Warredi, did not go through. As at press time, Warredi was also yet to reply an email sent to him on Wednesday 7th August, 2013 to clarify the country’s status with regards to the IMO White List.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY recalls that when, in November 2011, Nigeria failed to be re-elected and retain a seat in the category C of the IMO Council in London, United Kingdom (UK), that defeat meant that Nigeria may no longer be privy to IMO decisions before they are made public.
That defeat, according to industry watchers, equally meant that Nigeria’s continuity on the IMO White List may also no longer be guaranteed, except she works harder in terms of strict compliance with the IMO’s directive on safer shipping and cleaner oceans.
Following Nigeria’s dismal outing in the polls, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, gave reassurance that the Federal Government would adopt every possible measure to ensure that Nigeria returns to the Council in 2013.
A visibly-sad Umar had said that, while government might not be able to turn back the hands of the clock, it would, however, ensure that Nigeria’s integrity as a formidable maritime nation was not compromised by that re-election failure.
The time, according to him, was not for apportioning blames, but for re-networking.
Nigeria won the election into the hallowed ranks of the IMO Council in 2007, consolidated on it in 2009, before crashing out of the Council in the 2011 unsuccessful re-election bid.
The IMO’s structure consists of an Assembly, a Council and five main Committees: the Maritime Safety Committee; the Marine Environment Protection Committee; the Legal Committee; the Technical Co-operation Committee and the Facilitation Committee and a number of Sub-Committees support the work of the main technical committees.
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