The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), has promised to support Nigeria through capacity building, partnerships as well as projects aimed at ensuring an inclusive transition to decarbonization and greener shipping.
IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, gave the assurance at the 2022 Nigerian International Maritime Summit held in Lagos on Monday.
Lim said IMO member states are actively engaged in upgrading the Initial IMO Strategy adopted in 2018 on reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from ships and in developing mid-term measures of technical and economic elements, including market-based measures, that will set global shipping on the path to phasing out GHG emissions as soon as possible.
The upgraded strategy, according to him will be agreed by July 2023.
While noting the importance of automation and digitalization to shipping, Lim expressed delight that IMO and Nigeria have worked together to develop a Port Community System for electronic data exchange for its ports.
He said, “There can be no doubt that decarbonization is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
“As we continue to look at how to incentivize the availability and scalability of low- and zero-carbon marine fuels and technologies, IMO will continue to support developing countries with our capacity building as well as partnerships and projects aimed at supporting an inclusive transition.
“Decarbonization gives us not only challenges but also opportunities in different ways. Automation and digitalization are also critical to shipping’s future. IMO seeks to embrace the benefits of new technologies in a considered way including addressing safety, cyber security risks, the impact on the environment and on personnel, both on board and ashore.”
The IMO scribe commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Navy for effectively collaborating with local, regional and international partners to achieve success in the war against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain.
He said IMO remained committed to supporting Nigeria through capacity building initiatives in the development of its National Maritime Security Strategy.
“It is encouraging to see the continued success of efforts to eradicate piracy and armed robbery against ships, in particular the significant fall in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. But we must remain vigilant.
“I am grateful to all coastal states in the region, in particular Nigeria, that have made positive strides to deliver this success and are clearly making progress in assuring the safety and security of navigation within the region.
In his remarks, Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, restated Nigeria’s commitment to a sustainable blue economy,
The Summit, according to the Minister was to capture important questions, opportunities and challenges associated with Nigeria’s quest for achieving a sustainable approach to harnessing the Blue Economy.
He said, “The Summit was also necessary for discussions within the global community on the need to reshape the way the shipping industry operates in the face of current and future challenges, ranging from a changing climate and the need for rapid decarbonisation by 2050 cannot be overemphasized”.
“Nigeria’s commitment to the sustainability of the blue economy is demonstrated by the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“To this end, an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria (ECSBEN) under the leadership of no less a person than the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is driving the implementation process and to perfect the agenda for a national strategy.
“This agenda amongst others is focused on providing an assessment of the current realities, opportunities and challenges for economic diversification and the growth of a sustainable blue economy.
“This includes the identification and review of relevant policies and institutional/capacity-building mechanisms. This is in addition to the identification of regional and cross-border partnerships necessary for the implementation of the blue economy plan, the relevant sectors, actors and linkages, and the development of a national action plan with an implementation strategy for the Nigerian blue economy,” he said.
Sambo further revealed that synergy with the appropriate authorities had led to several achievements in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, extolling the leadership virtues of President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders for their support in achieving zero piracy in Nigeria’s Maritime domain since the commissioning of the Deep Blue project in June 2021 by President Buhari.
The Minister identified finance as a critical driver for unlocking the potentials of the blue economy in Africa and particularly Nigeria.
“Sustainable financing models are therefore important to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country.
“This Summit will undoubtedly serve as a benchmark for stakeholders in Nigeria and beyond to further develop innovative strategies to sustainably harness the vast potentials of the blue economy”.
The Minister thanked the Governing Board and the Advisory Council of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit, the Secretariat, Agencies and other stakeholders who worked assiduously with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, for putting together the event.
L-R: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo; Secretary General, International Maritime Organisation(IMO), His Excellency Kitack Lim; Senior Partner, Akabogu Law, Dr. Emeka Akabogu; and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS), in Lagos on Monday.