By Ajibola Abayomi,
December 11, 20017
Late preparation cost made Nigeria loose the category C seat at the 2017 International Maritime Organisation (IMO) election in London, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has revealed.
He made the comment at G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea. According to him, NIMASA had three man delegation to the IMO seat and spent about N100 million in the process.
Because Nigeria was recovering from recession, he said that did permit the team to canvas for votes across the globe before the election. “I don’t think I am here to reel out reasons why we lost the election but I think three reasons suffice; one is that we started late in our quest to be elected in IMO council.
“Two, aside from the fact that we started fairly late, in our quest to get reelected to the council, Nigeria didn’t spend as much as other countries, we were hosting IMO event virtually every other month and for some reasons, we didn’t take that route.
The DG explained that misconception about Nigeria’s fight against piracy formed part of the factors that led to Nigeria’s failure at the election.
He said other countries did not get accurate information of how Nigeria had fared in tackling of piracy. “The issue of piracy, I cannot deny that it may have some impact on the election, our colleagues didn’t have information about what we were doing to tackle piracy and there was a general impression that Nigeria wasn’t doing enough to tackle the issue of piracy.
He reiterated efforts by the agency to nip piracy in the bud saying an anti-piracy bill is being sponsored by the agency through the help of international agencies
Dakuku said when the bill is passed into law, Nigeria would be the first country in Africa to have such dedicated law against piracy on the continent.
He further said that a contract of 1.5 million dollars has been signed with an Israeli firm for acquisition of military hardware to fight piracy as well as provide training for NIMASA and military personnel.