By Ajibola Abayomi,
March 25, 2018.
In a bid to harmonize port state control inspection procedures that will lead to the elimination of substandard shipping in the West and Central Africa sub-region, the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will host its 3rd Ministerial Conference and 9th Port state Control Committee Meeting with the aim of developing a unified system of Port State Control inspection procedure for the region.
The 3rd Ministerial Conference themed “Tightening the Net: Regional Cooperation to Eliminate Substandard Shipping” and the 9th Port state Control Committee Meeting will hold in Accra, Ghana from 27th -28th of March, 2018.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi and the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside will join other Ministers of member states and CEOs of the Maritime Administrations to review and assess the implementation level of actions identified at the previous ministerial conferences and agree on further actions required to improve maritime safety in the region.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, the DG NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside noted that NIMASA’s commitment to regional integration is aimed at improving shipping.
“African Maritime Industry has come of age, this is why we owe the continent, through our regional cooperation the responsibility of creating a frame work that will aid the reduction and eventual elimination of substandard shipping, prevention of marine pollution and improvement of the living and working conditions of seafarers aboard ships”, he said.
The Secretary General of the Abuja MoU, Barr. Mfon Usoro, noted that the meeting will present an opportunity for the Ministers and CEOs of Maritime Administrations of member states an opportunity to identify common areas of concern that require consolidation. She further said that the conference will ensure the strengthening of capacity of members States and their Maritime Administrations in order to target sub-standard ships, achieve desired regional harmonization and cooperation of port and flag state implementation processes that will also lead to improving the living and working conditions of shipboard officers and crew as well as ensure prevention of pollution in the region’s waters.
According to Usoro, this year’s event would be highlighted by the issuance of Ministerial Declaration by Ministers of Transportation in the Abuja MoU region to guide the future activities of the MoU. The conference will also feature the inauguration of the Honourable Minister of Transportation of Ghana (Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah) as the new Chairman of the MoU.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Region generally referred to as Abuja MoU is one of the 9 Regional MoUs and national MoU established pursuant to IMO Resolution A.682 (17) of 1991. The Organization operates under a Cooperative Agreement with the IMO.
Abuja MoU was established on 22nd October 1999 as an inter-governmental organization comprising of the Maritime Administrations of countries abutting the Atlantic coast of Africa. Parties to the MoU include Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’voire, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Togo, South Africa and Liberia