GMA News

3RD MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE OF ABUJA MoU HELD IN GHANA

Apr 10, 2018

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said shipping is indispensable to international trade as most countries worldwide rely on seaborne transport for export and import of goods and services.

He said it also played a significant role in the functioning of the global economy.

He, therefore, urged the West and Central African countries that had signed the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-operate effectively in ensuring the compliance and enforcement of the Port Sate Control regime.

Vice President Bawumia made the remarks at the opening of the Third Ministerial Conference of Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control (PSC) for West and Central Africa, in Accra.

Mr. Chibueke Rotimi Amaechi, Vice Chairman of Abuja MoU and Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said while it was important to ensure that sub-standard shipping was eliminated from African seas, it was also important to pay attention to the proficiency of the ship and crew.

Mr. Amaechi said sub-standard ships will clog the coastlines of member states with attendant ecological consequences and damage to the marine environment. He said the deployment of various methods, such as regional training workshops by the Abuja MoU, to ensure that Port State Control inspections were carried out in uniform manner in the region, as well as the adaptation of uniform detention mechanisms.

Mr. Lawrence Barchue, Assistant Secretary General, who represented the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), noted that the Abuja MoU had contributed to ensuring that ships that set out from the region presented no apparent risk to safety of life at sea and the environment.

Mr. Kwame Owusu, Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, said the essence of Port State Control was to ensure that maritime species were protected from contamination by pollution and to ensure that ships that operate on the region’s waters were safe to protect human life and property.

He noted that the arrangement under the Abuja MoU where ships inspected in a member state will not be re-inspected at the next port of call within a specified timeframe, complimented Ghana’s drive for port efficiency.

 

Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport, in his welcome address, said maritime transport was the backbone of international trade and central to sustainable global socio-economic development and growth.

He said over the years, the growth in international trade and the servicing requirements of modern logistics system, especially the shipping chain, placed increasing pressure on profits of ship owners.

Therefore, some ship owners in their quest for profits adopted strategies aimed at evading and undermining international best practices.

In that regard, he said the International Maritime Organization had adopted regulations and standards in international instruments such as SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW as well as the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention to create a level playing field for ships to operate in a safe, secure and efficient manner.

Hon. Asiamah therefore urged member countries to re-affirm their commitment geared towards achieving the objectives of the Abuja MoU.

The maritime conference was jointly organized by the Ministry of Transport, the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Abuja MoU Secretariat on the theme: ‘‘Tightening the Net: Regional Co-operation to Eliminate Sub-Standard Shipping”.

The Abuja MoU basically provides for the inspection of foreign ships in other national ports to determine the compliance level of the ships with the requirements of international conventions and codes governing maritime safety, marine pollution and the living and working conditions of seafarers on board.

It brought together maritime administrators, policy-makers and maritime experts from the West and Central African sub-region, to brainstorm on strategies to improve maritime safety and to help eliminate sub-standard shipping.

The MoU on PSC was signed in 1999 in Abuja, Nigeria and covers 22 countries stretching from Mauritania, Cape Verde, Cote, D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe to South Africa.

So far, 15 of those countries are now full members of the MoU.

 

 

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