1st June, 2012
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in conjunction with Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (PSC) for West and Central African Region (Abuja MoU) has concluded plans with heads of maritime administration from the 22 states to brainstorm on the way towards strengthening the compliance level of flag states.
Specifically, a 3-day workshop billed for 18 to 20 June 2012 for heads of maritime administration and Port State Control officers, which will be facilitated by IMO and hosted by the Abuja MoU, will be holding at Le Meridian Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort Uyo in Akwa-Ibom State.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos on the objectives of the workshop, the Secretary General of the MoU, Mfon Ekong Usoro, said the workshop was targeted not only to enlighten the heads of maritime administration, but to know the importance of Port State Control, so as to determine the resources to allocate for the progress of the unit, and also to encourage countries to be compliant with international maritime laws and regulations.
“This is because non-performing PSC regime allows for the concentration of substandard ships in the region arising from less stringent inspections, absence of harmonization and collaboration between member states. Therefore, it is hoped that member states will effectively join hands to keep off substandard ships from the region’s seas.”
Usoro added that the workshop will assist members to be aware of the training opportunities that are offered by Abuja MoU for Port State Control officers.
“At the end of the workshop, we expect that member states will go back to their countries and strengthen their Port State Control units, while those that do not have, are expected to establish.”
She continued: “Also, it is very important as a region for heads of maritime administration from member states to know each other by first name because all have one common but continuous boundary on sea and an incident on one will affect the other countries.
“Thus, the best way to coordinate issues or problems is to know the number of an officer in the other port to call. For instance, if a Port State Control officer in Nigeria detects a problem in a ship he or she should be able to send information across to the officer in the next port of call for it to be handled without delaying the vessel,” she added.