Maputo — Mozambican Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita on Thursday challenged the country's maritime administrations to improve their performance, in a drive to restore the Mozambican state's authority in shipping.
Mesquita launched this challenge after he had sworn into office Eugenio Muianga, as the new General Director of the National Maritime Institute (INAMAR).
The Minister stressed the need to improve the performance of INAMAR as the national maritime authority, in questions of maritime safety, and ensuring the safe transport of people and goods at sea and in Mozambique's inland waters.
"We need to rescue the State's authority in shipping", he declared. "The Maritime Administrations must improve their performance in the protection of people, property and the marine environment".
Speaking in the wake of repeated disasters in which overcrowded boats have capsized, killing several of their passengers, Mesquita insisted that boats carrying passengers and goods must be properly licensed, inspected and monitored with all due technical rigour.
"Our action should also extend to other players in the chain of maritime transport activities, such as shipping agencies and stowage, among other activities licensed by INAMAR", added the Minister.
Muianga replaces Carlos Isidoro, who had headed INAMAR since March 2013. He has held several senior positions in the Foreign and Transport Ministries, including deputy director of the National Maritime Administration and Inspection Service (SAFMAR), the body that preceded INAMAR, and the director for maritime affairs in the National Institute for Sea and Borders (IMAF), an institution subordinate to the Foreign Ministry.