Nigerian Maritime stakeholders at the weekend expressed grave concern with the nation’s woeful failure at the weekend’s London election, blaming the country’s lack lustre performance on awkward preparation.
The stakeholders whose views were sought specifically blamed the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Transportation, as well as the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, stressing that the delegation squandered hard resources to contest, even though the certainty of defeat was too obvious.
“Nigeria has nothing on ground to show for its participation in that election”, one revered respondent indicated, even as another noted that the NIMASA made it totally a civil service affair, totally snubbing shipowners, master mariners, and the Association of Marine Engineers amongst other core stakeholders, throughout the course of preparation for the election.
An industry watcher, Samuel Egbewole has however called on the Federal Government to sack Dakuku Peterside, and appoint another Director General, if Government hopes to deliver any reasonable dividends to its citizens, in the Maritime industry.
“It is a pity everything has been politicized! The position of a Director General for a country’s apex maritime parastatal is too strategic for a politician. It should be reserved for career focused persons. And that’s why I think it is the Federal Government that should be held accountable for Dakuku’s failure.
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised Nigerians an all round positive change. But with what I can see, so far on ground, if they don’t do something on NIMASA now, Nigerians may better await another regime!”, he stated, begging Dakuku to resign in the overall interest of the industry.
It would be recalled that the country at the weekend in London contested for a Category ‘C’ of the IMO, and lost woefully.
A source which spoke on conditions of anonymity told the MARITIME FIRST that not did the country come totally unprepared for the election, it also failed to pay a certain debt of $45,000 it had variously owed, thereby presenting Nigeria as a laughing stock before the International community.
It was further learnt that the delegation hardly betrayed any emotions, even after Nigeria came first, from the rear.
Category ‘A’, which consists of the 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services are China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
Those on the Category ‘B’ status, which also consist of the 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade, are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and United Arab Emirates.
While those on Category ‘C’, where Nigeria actually campaigned for and failed consisted of the 20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above, but which nonetheless, have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world. They are the Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.
The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.
The newly elected Council will meet, following the conclusion of the 30th Assembly, for its 119th session (on 7 December) and will elect its Chair and Vice-Chair for the next biennium.