The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, CON, has charged member states of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Region (Abuja MoU), on the need to achieve full ratification and domestication of all relevant instruments.
Oyetola who also doubles as the Vice Chairman of the Abuja MOU spoke at the 13th Port State Control Committee Meeting of the Abuja MoU, hosted by the government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in Abidjan.
Meanwhile, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR noted that the maritime administration in Nigeria is committed to effective implementation of regulatory instruments in Nigeria.
The Minister who emphasized the need for regulators and stakeholders in the member states to ensure their maritime domains remain safe, secure, and environmentally friendly reiterated the need to achieve full ratification and domestication of all relevant instruments; compliance with the requirement for member States to inspect at least 15 percent of vessels calling at their ports.
Other areas identified are; the imperative of recruitment and subsequent training of the Port State Control officers to avoid over burdening the few PSCOs in the field; and the need for us to collaborate and ensure that no substandard vessel is allowed to trade within the region.”
Speaking at the session, the NIMASA Director General, stressed that the Agency as Nigeria’s maritime administration has ensured the ratification of not less than six International maritime conventions for proper governance of the country’s maritime space.
According to him, these ratified conventions spell out proper mode of governance for various areas such as standards of training, certification and Watchkeeping for the fishing sector, pollution management and carriage of passenger luggage by sea.
Nigeria has ratified Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009; International Convention on Standard of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW –F) 1995; and Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (Intervention Protocol)1973.
Others are: Protocol on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC) 1996; Protocol to the 1974 Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 2002; and Protocol of 2005 to the 1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Act against the Safety of Fixed Platforms located on the Continental Shelf (SUA PROT 2005)
On his part, the Secretary General Abuja MoU, Captain Sunday Umoren assured of continuous engagement sessions to ensure regional collaboration to attain globally acceptable Port State Control in the West and Central Africa Region.
The performance of member states on PSC Inspections, and financial status amongst others formed part of the deliberations. Women in Maritime West attended the event (WIMOWCA) in their Observer status capacity.