Abuja MoU set to adopt unified Port State Control system in Africa
Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside
By FRANCIS EZEM
The Abuja Memorandum of Understanding MoU is working towards developing a unified system of Port State Control inspection procedure for the West and Central Africa sub-region, aimed at harmonising port state control inspection procedures that will lead to the elimination of substandard shipping in Africa.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Region generally called the Abuja MoU is one of the nine Regional MoUs and national MoUs established pursuant to International Maritime Organisation Resolution A.682 (17) of 1991. The MoU operates under a Cooperative Agreement with the IMO.
The Abuja MoU was established on October 22, 1999 as an inter-governmental organisation comprising the Maritime Administrations of countries abutting the Atlantic Coast of Africa and 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, Liberia and South Africa.
To this effect, the MoU is concluding plans to host its 3rd Ministerial Conference and 9th Port State Control Committee Meeting with the theme: “Tightening the Net: Regional Cooperation to Eliminate Substandard Shipping” and the 9th Port State Control Committee Meeting slated to hold between March 27th -28th in Accra, Ghana.
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside will join other ministers of member states and Chief Executive Officers of 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.
The DG NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who spoke ahead of the meeting, noted that NIMASA’s commitment towards regional integration was 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.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Abuja MoU, Mrs. 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 harmonisation 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 her, 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 Minister of Transport of Ghana, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah as the new Chairman of the MoU.