Again, Nigeria at the weekend lost its bid to get re-elected into category ‘C’of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This would be the third consecutive time Nigeria is losing its quest to be re-elected into IMO. Ghana, had promised to support Nigeria to get a sit into IMO.
The last time Nigeria won its IMO Council bid was in 2007 under Dr. Ade Dosunmu who was then the Director-General of NIMASA and every attempt made since 2011 to return to the council had failed.
Recall, prior to the IMO Council elections, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside sought the cooperation of all Heads of Foreign Missions in Nigeria to support the country’s quest.
He said that Nigeria had played active leadership roles in ensuring the development of the sector not only within the country but also in the entire West and Central African sub region; and assured the global maritime community on Nigeria’s readiness to ensure optimum performance through curbing piracy, preventing marine pollution, reinvigoration of its ports and capacity building.
However, regardless of domesticating a number of IMO maritime safety conventions, taking a lead role in the Regional Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) in Lagos to coordinate Search and Rescue (SAR) activities in Nigeria and the African sub region, as well as receiving the Federal Government's approval for the establishment of an Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, Nigeria still fell short of the required votes to clinch the coveted seat.
40 countries were elected into the IMO Council in three categories for the 2017/2018 biennium. Category A comprises ten states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services. They include: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
Category B comprises ten states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. These include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.
Category C encompasses 20 states not elected under (A) or (B) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world. Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey are countries that make up this category.
The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the assembly, for supervising the work of the organization. Between sessions of the assembly, the council performs all the functions of the assembly, except that of making recommendations to governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.
The newly elected council will meet, following the conclusion of the 30th Assembly, for its 119th session on December 7 and will elect its chair and vice-chair for the next biennium.
The 30th Assembly of IMO is meeting in London at IMO Headquarters from November 27 to December 6, 2017. All 172 member states and three associate members are entitled to attend the assembly, which is IMO’s highest governing body.
The assembly, which meets once every two years in regular session, is responsible for approving the work program, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the organization. It also elects the organization’s 40-member council.
M&P, Agency Report