By Izuchukwu Ozoemena In Accra
To reduce incidences of army of inspectors who besiege vessels at sea ports all in the name of inspection, Nigeria has called on the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU) to urgently harmonize, at the ministerial level, strategies to determine officers authorized to board vessels and how they must do so.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) made the call in Accra, Ghana, Wednesday, at the 9th Port State Control Committee (9TH PSCC) meeting of the Abuja MoU taking place in the Ghanaian capital.
Discussing the issue of welfare and emolument of port state control officers in Nigeria, Peterside described it as very competitive and encouraging despite contrary views held in certain quarters. The director-general assured that in the next six months, the Abuja MoU secretariat in Nigeria would be upgraded and made available for full use by the regional body.
Speaking on the welfare of port control officers in his country, the Director-General of the Gambia Maritime Authority, Mr. Moustapher Marong, stated that this has remained competitive and attractive even as government is set to make increments so as to attract, retain and encourage the best of hands.
On the status of financial contributions by member-administrations, the payment of membership dues was one of the major discussions that featured at the meeting. Nigeria was commended for being exemplary in fulfilling her own obligations in this regard while a committee comprising Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Congo and Cote d’Ivoire was constituted to consider the modalities for encouraging member states to fulfill their financial obligations to the regional body.
The 9th PSCC meeting which witnessed the admission of Liberia, Cape Verde, South Africa and Guinea Bissau as full members since the 8th Committee meeting held in Brazzaville, Congo, was chaired by Mr. Fidele Dimou, the Transportation Minister of the Republic of Congo.
The event heralds the 3rd Ministerial Conference, Thursday, on the theme “Tightening the Net: Regional Cooperation to Eliminate Substandard Shipping”. Transportation ministers of member-countries of the Abuja MoU and other important dignitaries expected to participate in the event are already arriving Accra.
Benin hosts the next meeting in 2019. In the event she is not able, however, Gabon takes the slot without prejudice to the alphabetical arrangement already in place.