Home Maritime Nigeria to Seek Election into IMO Council in 2025 – Oyetola

Nigeria to Seek Election into IMO Council in 2025 – Oyetola

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Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy, has disclosed Nigeria’s intention to seek election into Category C of the IMO Council in 2025.

The minister disclosed this on Monday while addressing member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at the 33rd session of its General Assembly in London, according to a statement by Ismail Omipidan, his spokesperson.

He, therefore, sought the support and votes of member states of the organisation.

Oyetola also restated the commitment of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to reposition the nation’s maritime sector in line with its agenda for economic growth and development.

He disclosed that his ministry had already mapped out plans on how to revamp the maritime industry, adding that the plans cover areas such as security, marine environment management, climate action and human capital development.

According to Oyetola, President Tinubu, in recognition of the importance of the maritime industry and Nigeria’s strategic position as a leading maritime nation in the region, established the Ministry for Marine and Blue Economy upon assuming office in May 2023.

“We have already begun the process of developing a framework that will ensure short, medium and long-term outcomes to reposition the maritime sector to achieve the new administration’s agenda for economic growth and development.

“In the area of national security initiatives, Nigeria has continued to take concrete steps in emplacing the necessary legal and institutional framework to sustain the successes attained in ensuring maritime security within her maritime domain.

“The enactment of a dedicated legislation known as the Suppression of Piracy and Other Offences Act, which fortifies the legal framework, and the implementation of the Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Solution, known as Deep Blue Project, have further enhanced maritime security with its command and control infrastructure,” Oyetola said.

He said the initiative had continued to bolster Nigeria’s maritime security architecture and contributed to the significant drop in the number of security incidents in Nigerian waters and the wider Gulf of Guinea, which he said was achieved in collaboration with member states, stakeholders and the IMO.

In the area of marine environment management, Oyetola said Nigeria had remained steadfast in the actualisation of its treaty obligation and recently ratified six maritime conventions and protocols that will further promote a cleaner marine environment, ship-breaking criteria, global standard for fishing crew and response to oil pollution casualties.

In fulfilment of the IMO’s commitment to the global fight against climate change, the Minister said Nigeria was committed to working with other member states to implement the strategy.

“Nigeria notes the 2023 strategy on Green House Gas emissions adopted at the MEPC 80 which demonstrated the spirit of friendship, compromise and consensus among member states,” Oyetola said.

He said that in the aspect of human capacity development, Nigeria had continued to place and give priority to the training of its seafarers through its national cadetship initiative, the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).

“Nigeria has continued to train indigenous seafarers to build capacity and enhance its contribution to the global seafarer’s pool and manpower development, with attention on women seafarers. Since the inception of the NSDP programme, the Federal Government has trained 2,476 cadets in various fields at world-class maritime institutions across the world.

“To reform the business environment, we have continued to implement a broad-based agenda to improve the Nigerian maritime operating environment for commerce to thrive and be driven through inter-agency collaboration and cooperation. With the technical support from IMO, we have initiated the development of a Port Community System (PCS) to create an effective and efficient port community system.

“Currently, we have ensured interconnectivity of operations of the relevant agencies to create seamless cargo clearance processes and procedures to further enhance and simplify cross-border trade,” Oyetola said.

Speaking during an event held on the sidelines of the meeting, Kitack Lim, secretary general of IMO, commended President Tinubu for creating the new ministry, saying the approach was futuristic and strategic.

He also commended Nigeria for providing security in the Gulf of Guinea.

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