IMO Campaign for 2021 Council Election on Course, says Saraki

Chinazor Megbolu     |     

The Minister of State for Transportation, Dr Gbemisola Saraki had said the campaign for the 2021 bid for Category C International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council election is already on course.

The Minister, who led the team for the last  elections which Nigeria narrowly lost to Kenya, explained that it was a matter of paramount national interest the country gets a seat on the IMO council.

Saraki pointed out that Nigeria would  appraise the reasons for the narrow loss.

“We are going to go back to the countries that voted to ask them what they did not think we have done well or why they did not vote for us,” she said.

She maintained that Nigeria had done remarkably well in reforming its maritime sector to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She noted the  milestones in maritime safety and security, gender equality, and environmental responsibility.

The Minister was however happy by the determined effort of the Nigerian delegation to campaign for the Category C seat.

It would be recalled that the  Country had put up a good fight towards campaigning for the election into the Governing Council, whose membership the country lost in 2009.

Nigeria polled 110 votes to come 21st, one vote less than the 111 polled by Kenya, which came 20th, the cut off point for Category C membership of the Council.

The country will have another chance for a shot at the Council in 2021, during the next biennial Session of the IMO Assembly. Being in the Council brings opportunities and openings for nations to be involved in various decisions that will impact on the maritime sector globally and the country respectively.

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