The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello-Koko, has restated the authority’s commitment to the development of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA)
Bello-Koko who said this on Tuesday when he received Dr Paul Adalikwu, the MOWCA Secretary General in Lagos , also commended the roadmap for a better MOWCA being put in place by the new scribe.
He said the NPA has always been cooperating with the organisation in respect of diligent calculation of Nigeria’s dues to the organisation and has been ensuring timely release of such funds in the last 47 years , even when no Nigerian was working at the MOWCA secretariat.
While describing the reorganisation of MOWCA secretariat under Adalikwu, in line with it’s establishment charter as a good example of due process, he advised the SG to draw short, medium and long term goals for the regional maritime body.
This according to the MD, would help in reaping “low hanging fruits” while urging the SG to emplace training programmes that would help build capacity of maritime experts and professionals across member countries.
Adalikwu who visited NPA as part of his maiden official visit to Nigeria since assuming office in Abidjan in January 2022, disclosed that the Regional Maritime Development Bank to be headquartered in Abuja has gotten almost 10 member states to sign the bank’s charter.
He added that plans have reached advanced stage for launch of the bank later this year. The SG also said the President of the bank will be a Nigerian with two Vice Presidents from Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire.
Adalikwu also told NPA MD that prior to his assumption of office, there were no proper personnel records. He said the 25 staff organisation now have files, staff number and all necessary documentations as expected of an international organisation.
On relationship with other international organisations, Adalikwu said his office will engage with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London, World Maritime University(WMU) in Malmo Sweden and the secretariat of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Accra Ghana to advance benefits to member countries.
The SG said his office will engage with the IMO Secretary General to reactivate a desk for MOWCA while working for Nigeria and other member countries to be on the council of the organisation in 2023.
He expressed willingness to pursue strong MOWCA representation in the comity of maritime nations to avail West and Central Africa the opportunity to be part of global maritime decision making, especially where it affects the two sub regions interest.
He said MOWCA is about opening talks with WMU for academic exchange programmes and support of resource persons to boost the capacity of maritime training institutions in member states.
The SG who described AfCFTA regime as very laudable, said MOWCA would interface with the secretariat in Accra on how best to harness maritime trading potentials amongst African countries.
MOWCA secretariat, he added would also explore possibilities of promoting dry port and inland container depot establishment in landlocked countries involved in import and export.