Minister Of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has broken his long silence over Nigeria recent failure to clinch the Category-c Council seat of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The DG, on his Facebook page attributed the loss to travel ban placed on Nigeria by the United Kingdom following the discovery of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Nigeria.
Nigeria, have failed to secure a seat in 2019 but, the DG admitted that international politics could have played a role.
He disclosed that the travel ban, which came about 48 hours to the election, made it impossible for the Nigerian contingent to travel for the election and could therefore not have been voted for in absentia.
He, however, said that the agency has commenced plans to contest the next election, which comes up in November 2023, and assured that the agency, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transport, would do everything humanly possible to ensure that Nigeria clinches the seat next year.
Dr. Jamoh further said: “We are not completely ruling out the challenge posed by international politics, but the travel ban imposed by the UK government about two days before the departure of the Nigerian delegation to the election was the greatest single factor. Nigeria’s report on the Deep Blue Project at the IMO was good, report on security in the Gulf of Guinea was good because the rate of piracy had declined drastically in the region as reported by the International Maritime Bureau, (IMB), so we thought we were coasting home with the victory.
“But we have put that behind us, we are moving ahead and we have also identified some loopholes and we have evolved strategies to block them. Going forward, we will cultivate more bilateral relationships, attend international seminars and conferences and also advertise the progress we are making on security, ship registry and all other relevant regulatory issues on international media because no one winks in the dark.