5 December 2017

Nigeria Loses Bid for IMO Council in London

Nigeria lost its bid for reelection into category 'C' of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London at the weekend.

This is happening for the third consecutive time having won the IMO Council bid last in 2007 under then Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Ade Dosunmu.

Every attempt made since 2011 to return to the council has proved abortive. The IMO said no fewer than 40 countries were elected into the Council in three categories for 2017/2018.

The successful countries are China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States of America in Category A.

Those elected into category B includes, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates, while Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey were elected in Category C.

"Category A council members are countries with the largest interest in providing international shipping services, while Category B are countries with the largest interest in international seaborne trade.

Category C, which has 20 countries, are those with 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," IMO stated.

The election, which held in London, had Nigeria as one of the countries seeking re-election, by scoring 98 points in an election that saw five African countries of Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya and Liberia joining the group at the expense of Nigeria.

A breakdown of the votes showed that Morocco scored 134 votes; Egypt (133); South Africa (21); Kenya (120) and Liberia (116).

It was gathered that Singapore came tops with 142 votes to beat 20 countries. Category C is the executive organ of the IMO that takes decisions in the absence of the Assembly and coordinates all activities of the organs of the organisation.

It has 20 member countries with special interest in maritime transport or navigation.

Maritime stakeholders have expressed shock at the inability of Nigeria to get reelected into the policy making body of the IMO, citing policy somersaults, shoddy preparation and inexperience by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and NIMASA.

A London-based Nigerian maritime analyst, Donald Adebola, who spoke shortly after the election, attributed Nigeria's loss to inexperience and shoddy preparation by the handlers of the country's bid.

Former Director General of NIMASA, Ferdinand Agu, said: "Politicians don't have a clear idea what the maritime sector is all about."


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