ShareTweetEmail0shares IMO Headquarters Sequel to her painful loss to Kenya in the race for the category ‘C’ Seat of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)... IMO Seat: Nigeria Kicks off Preparations for 2021, Learnt from Loss to Kenya


IMO Headquarters

Sequel to her painful loss to Kenya in the race for the category ‘C’ Seat of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)  Council, Nigeria may have embraced the culture of early preparations for international events, as  she has begun to plan for the 2021 slot, when she would be eligible to take another shot at the seat , during the next biennial Session of the body.

The country polled 110 votes to come 21st, one short of the 111  by Kenya, which came 20th, the cut off point for Category C membership of the Council ,after its delegation to the 31st Session, of the IMO, had put up a spirited campaign, for election into the Governing Council, which membership the country lost in 2011.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Dr Gbemisola Saraki, who led the country’s delegation to the venue of the election,   said after the loss, that  the campaign for the 2021 bid had begun ,adding that  it was a matter of paramount national interest that “Nigeria gets a seat on the maritime table”.

She said the country would, as a first task, appraise the factors behind its narrow loss. “We are going to go back to the countries that voted to ask them, what they did think we have done well, or why they did not vote for us,” Saraki stated.

But she insisted that  Nigeria had done remarkably well, in reforming its maritime sector to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She pointed to the milestones in maritime safety and security, gender equality, and environmental responsibility.

Saraki was delighted by the determined effort of the Nigerian delegation to campaign for the Category C seat.

Though, the country missed its bid for membership of the Governing Council, IMO’s highest decision making organ, Nigeria’s performance was a remarkable improvement from 2017, when it lost by 12 votes.

However, West Africa lost its only seat in the Council, as Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and Kenya retained their seats in the 20-member Category C of the IMO.

Nigeria’s delegation to the 31st Session of the IMO had put up a spirited campaign for election into the Governing Council, whose membership the country lost in 2011.

Being in the Council brings opportunities and openings for nations to be involved in various decisions that will impact on the maritime sector globally and the country in particular.

The Nigerian delegation included Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside; whose Agency was the lead anchor. Others were Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman;

Chairman Senate Committee on Maritime transport , Senator Danjuma Goje, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Lynda Ikpeazu; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari; Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Duja Effedua and Barr. Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) were also part of the team.