By Okezie Nnadi
Still rationalizing the lose of last year’s election into the International Maritime Organization (IMO) category C Seat, Nigerians have continued to prob the actual cause of the lose, as it was particularly not envisaged after a lot of preparation, leg work and lobbying by NIMASA.
The DG NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh speaking with Journalists Friday in Lagos, said, “the IMO Category C election is a bit of politics and we understand this, I will put mechanism in place to ensure Nigeria returns to IMO.”
Continuing on why Nigeria lost the election after so much preparation and hard work, Jamoh attributed the lose mostly to the travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 which did not allow for leg work, which would have have given Nigeria the opportunity to meet one on one with Representatives of countries to explain and clarify certain developments, concerning security within the Gulf of Guinea and Nigeria International waters.
“This was not to be, especially for Britain where the Nigerian High commissioner was the only one doing the leg work, which was where the actual politicking was needed,” he explained.
The NIMASA boss said that Nigerians should also understand that some countries like Japan were in this category before moving up to their desired places now and Nigeria’s case is not an exception, “we shall put mechinary in motion to return Nigeria to IMO but we should not dwell so much on the loss, we should also be happy that for the first time of asking, Nigeria was able to win the most enviable seat at the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa ( MOWCA) as the Secretary General. We should also celebrate this, while we work to get back to IMO,” Jamoh enthused.
Recall that on the 18, November 2021, a Nigerian, Dr Paul Adalikwu was elected as the Secretary General of MOWCA at the 16th Extra Ordinary Session in Ghana. MOWCA is said to control maritime activities in 25 countries of the West and Central African Sub Region. It is the first time that Nigeria indicated interest to contest the exalted position of Secretary General.
Also speaking on the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF), the DG said that the disbursement is riddled with a lot of technicalities, “there’s a lot of technicalities involved with the CVFF disbursement but the fund is intact and will be disbursed according to the guidelines.