Lagos — The minister of state for transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki has stepped up talks canvassing African countries support for Nigeria to be elected into Category C of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) council
Speaking in Banjul during bilateral talks with minister of transport of the Republic of Gambia, Hon Bai Lamin Jobe, Saraki asked other African countries to rally round one of their own in the global maritime body.
Ahead of the IMO council election that comes up later in the year, Saraki advised African countries to strengthen their age long unity by discussing amongst themselves for a harmonised position before participating in meetings involving global audiences.
While reiterating Nigeria's commitment towards a greater, united and more economically self reliant Africa, she identified the maritime sector as a veritable natural resource for continental development.
The minister also presented Nigerian candidate seeking to be elected as secretary general of Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr Paul Adalikwu, who also has been overwhelmingly endorsed by other countries including Ghana, Niger and Cameroun.
Responding, Jobe described the Nigerian delegation visit to his office as successful, pledging his country's support for Nigerian cause.
Following President Muhammadu Buhari's approval for Nigeria to vie for the Category C council position in the global maritime body, Saraki had earlier opened talks with Transport Ministers of Ghana, Cameroun and other countries in a move to make Nigeria a member of the council which is by election.
Presently, no West and Central African country is represented in the IMO council which is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the organisation.
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.