…appreciates Nigeria’s success in piracy decline
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has pledged support to Nigeria via capacity building and strategic partnerships in a bid to ensure smooth transition to decarbonization and greener shipping.
IMO Secretary General, Mr. Kitack Lim gave this assurance while delivering the keynote address at the 2022 edition of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) themed: “Igniting the Blue Economy”, in Lagos, today.
According to the IMO scribe, the global body is concerned about developing countries meeting new benchmarks for shipping in line with the availability and utilization of zero carbon fuels and new technologies; even as he emphasised the significance of Nigeria to maritime in the West African sub-region.
Kitack Lim expressed delight that IMO and the Nigerian government worked together to establish a functional Port Community System, an electronic data exchange system for the ports, and he appreciated the nation’s strong maritime history that has led to a key involvement in the work of IMO.
His words: “As we look at the possibilities to incentivize the availability low and zero carbon fuels and shipping technologies, IMO will continue to support developing countries like Nigeria via capacity building and partnerships towards an inclusive transition. Automation and digitization are also critical to shipping in the future. IMO intends to explore the use of technology in cyber security, ship building, protecting the marine environment and personnel.”
“I wish to use this opportunity to congratulate NIMASA for the successes recorded in reducing piracy and other maritime crimes in Nigeria’s territorial waters, and the Gulf of Guinea area, to record low levels. We understand that this has come about through NIMASA’s collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, as well as local and international partners and for this, we say congratulations.”
He observed that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the globe has realized the significance of shipping, ports and seafarers, adding that “the significance of the sector led to the development of over 50 regulations by the IMO. These legal instruments are adaptable, implementable and cover all aspects of shipping”
“One of the most recent additions to the global maritime calendar has been the addition of the first ever ‘International Day for Women in Maritime’ which would be celebrated for the first time next year. I hope you all would join us in marking this day meant to celebrate the contributions of women in the maritime industry”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to a sustainable blue economy, even as he described the summit as an opportunity to address challenges associated with the nation’s quest for achieving a sustainable blue economy.
Sambo harped on the need for financing models to drive the potentials of the blue economy in Africa and particularly Nigeria, stressing that sustainable financing models are vital to building critical maritime assets such as; shipyards, deep seaports, among others.
“To this end, an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria (ECSBEN) under the leadership of no less a person than the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is driving the implementation process and to perfect the agenda for a national strategy.”
“This agenda amongst others is focused on providing an assessment of the current realities, opportunities and challenges for economic diversification and the growth of a sustainable blue economy. This includes the identification and review of relevant policies and institutional/capacity-building mechanisms. This is in addition to the identification of regional and cross-border partnerships necessary for the implementation of the blue economy plan, the relevant sectors, actors and linkages, and the development of a national action plan with an implementation strategy for the Nigerian blue economy,” he said.
Sambo also disclosed that synergy with the appropriate authorities led to several achievements in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. He commended the leadership virtues of President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders for their support in achieving zero piracy in Nigeria’s Maritime domain since the launch of the Deep Blue project in June 2021.
The Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Linda Ikpeazu pledged continuous support from the legislature via the enactment of laws backed by science and driven by research to enhance blue economy growth.
“We can have commercial shipping while maintaining cleaner oceans. Therefore the theme can’t be more apt. The key to igniting a blue economy is by preserving nature, the nation’s eco-system and health through the conservation of maritime resources,” Ikpeazu said.
She, however, harped on the need to abide by domestic, regional and international laws on shipping in a bid to ensure growth and sustainability of the maritime domain.
While appreciating event’s organizer and rich participants, she hoped that the outcome of the summit will be implemented and not end as an academic exercise.
In her welcome remarks, the Chairperson, NIMS Governing Board, Barr. (Mrs.) Mfon Usoro opined that event was holding at the most auspicious time in global history as the world’s attention is focused on preserving the environment through the reduction of emission.
“NIMS has progressively established itself as the forum where maritime and related industries from public and private sectors converge to engage brilliant minds on issues of global importance concerning regional and global interests,” she said.
Usoro specially thanked the IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim for gracing the occasion, while she also commended the massive role of the Ministry of Transportation and its agencies for the robust support in organizing the summit.
The event was attended by several transport industry bigwigs including; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. (Mrs.) Magdalene Ajani; Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime; Chairperson, Nigerian Ship-owners Forum, Barr (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi; President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung; Chairperson, Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup.
Others were: Chairman, Starz Investments Limited, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun; Chief Executive, Sea Transport, Mr. Aminu Umar; former Continental President of African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA), Mrs. Jean-Chiazor Anishere (SAN); Convener of Oil Trading Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Week, Dr. Emeka Akabogu; Chief Executive, Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore; among others.