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IMO Council Elections: Improved Ship Registry To Boost Nigeria’s Chances

  • Maximizing Potentials For Nigeria’s IMO Council BidNIMASA receives report from Ilori-led committee on ship registry

By Kenneth Jukpor

As the December 2019 elections into the Governing Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) draws near, experts have tipped an improved ship registry as a factor that could be advantageous to Nigeria during the polls. IMO Council Elections: Improved Ship Registry To Boost Nigeria’s Chances As the December 2019 elections into the Governing Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) draws near, experts have tipped an improved ship registry as a factor that could be advantageous to Nigeria during the polls.

The Chairman of the committee saddled with improving Nigeria’s ship registry, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori made this remark while presenting the final report to the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, last week.

Nigeria has always fared better in terms of gross tonnage of the world merchant shipping but the nation’s flag had lost technical integrity and acceptability over the years as a result of myriad of challenges but the situation is expected to change with the implementation of the report.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Ilori noted that Nigeria’s ship registry had already made some progress as a result of the activities of the committee and NIMASA’s willingness to implement the issues highlighted in the preliminary report.

Ilori thanked the NIMASA management as well as his committee members for their unflinching support throughout the exercise.

“As at the time you asked us to do this assignment in 2018, nobody was proud to fly the Nigerian flag and one of the first things we did was to find out what led to the lack of confidence and technical integrity from financial institutions, but today there has been improvement” he said.

However, Ilori expressed confidence that if the tenets of the reports were implemented religiously, the nation’s ship registry and the entire maritime space would observe notable changes.

“We were in Norway, the United Kingdom, America to speak with the classification societies and leading maritime organization’s and most places we went we were able to extract some commitment and support to improve the Nigerian ship registry” Ilori said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dakuku tipped an improved Nigerian ship registry to give global financial institutions confidence to support the Nigerian shipping sector, especially in the aspect of ship finance.

He said, “If your vessel flies the Nigerian flag and the Nigerian ship registry commands respect, global financial institutions would be willing to transact with you because they know about the integrity of the Nigerian flag. It means you can access their loans at a competitive rate. There are opportunities for funding out there but if your flag doesn’t command respect people would deal with you with caution”

The NIMASA boss also noted that a respected ship registry attracts the best seafarers and enhances the opportunities for the country’s seafarers.

“If a seafarer has worked for a British flag ship before, as a result of the credibility of that ship registry it is assumed that that seafarer is capable. So, an improvement in the Nigerian ship registry would also mean better recognition and acceptability for the Nigerian seafarers.

“This would improve Nigeria’s reputation on the international scene and it gives operators access to finance in the global scene. In every dimension, the quality of your ship registry determines your credibility in the marketplace”, he added.

He said that the agency would set a 72-hour deadline for the announcement of an implementation and monitoring committee to reform the nation’s ship registry.

Dakuku also gave assurance that the NIMASA management would religiously implement the recommendations in the report which took over a year to conclude, stating that he was already impressed with the preliminary report which showed the level of commitment put into the work by the committee members.

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