By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja
The Secretary-General of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Region, Sunday Umoren, has said that a total of 52, 000 vessels visited the West African region in 2021.
Speaking at the International Maritime Organisation /Abuja MoU designed for heads of maritime administrations in the west and central African region in Lagos, Umoren said that the secretariat had achieved appreciable success in the training of port control officers who were the first line of both offence and defence in the battle against sub-standard shipping in the region.
He said that despite the fact that the group put a minimum ship inspection at 15 per cent, some countries in the region still found it difficult to meet up.
“Last year, 2021, we had about 52,000 vessels visiting the West African region.”
The Abuja MoU scribe said that the essence of the Lagos meeting was to engage policymakers to come up with maritime-friendly policies.
“We are engaging the policymakers so that we will have knowledgeable policymakers and ensure we have maritime-friendly policies.
“Remember, our objective is to rid the area of substandard vessels. If a ship is leaving Nigeria and has issues along the line, the port control officer should naturally inform the next port of such vessel.”
Umoren also said that the body had now adopted a WhatsApp platform and body cameras to ensure proper security on the waters within the region.