THE Federal Government has commenced moves to get back to the Category ‘C’ of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, Council seat.
The country lost a contest to the seat two years ago to Egypt during the 2018 elections after several millions of Naira was expended on campaigns and lobbying other maritime nations to vote Nigeria.
Speaking at the just concluded World Maritime day celebration, Director of Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transport, Dr. Paul Adalikwu, said that a Committee to ensure Nigeria’s success at the election next month has been set up.
He said: “We look forward to yet another round of campaigns and canvassing for the position of Council membership of the IMO, which is just around the corner.’’
The last time Nigeria won its IMO Council bid was in 2007 under Dr. Ade Dosunmu who was then the Director-General of NIMASA. Every attempt made since then to return to the Council failed.
Nigeria became a member of IMO on March 15, 1996. Although the country was expelled from the Organisation during the military regime of the late Gen. Sanni Abacha, especially after the killing of environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the OgoniNine, it was readmitted in 2000 when the then Minister of Transport, Chief Ojo Madueke, led a Nigerian delegation to win an election into the Council, in Category C.
The country could however not retain the seat in subsequent election but regained it nine years ago in the same Category. It has however lost re-election since 2009.
Adalikwu also linked the campaigns to the need for the country to take strong positions on the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and said, “I must appreciate the deep thought of this year’s planning committee for the event to have aligned this technical session with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, of the United Nations, which Nigeria has deeply accepted and is continuously making efforts to attain.
“The role of the maritime sector in the attainment of the SDGs cannot be over emphasised.”