As sea-based transport continues to be one of the most common way to send vessels or shipments across enormous distances, experts have expressed the need to strengthen maritime security cooperation through the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control (PSC).
“Collaboration is very important for Abuja MoU member States,” Bureau Veritas Regional Chief Executive Marine & Offshore Sub-Saharan Africa , François GRIMBERT, told JollofNews during an exclusive interview.
Abuja MoU member States have raised concerns about the persistence of sub-standard shipping, stressing the urgent to enhance uniformity and implementation of standards across the West and Central African coastlines.
GRIMBERT said it is the only to address the challenges lying ahead while putting an emphasis on the risk management methodology to be carried out during PSC inspections.
He then added that the training of PSC officers across West and Central African regions is key to addressing the problems they are confronted with.
For his part, Ghana’s Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, who also spoke to JollofNews, expressed hope that things will inexorably move in the right direction as “member States are now becoming conscious of their responsibility.”
He said that Abuja MoU has set out the standards of marine transport with the view to ensure that the vessels that dock in our ports are in line with the directives of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The outgoing Chairman of the Abuja MoU told JollofNews that being aware of their responsibility will compel the States to take the necessary steps.
“I have been the Chairman for four years, and I handed over to Gambia’s Minister of Transport Ebrima Sillah. I am calling on member States to give him more support,” he said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by the Director General of the National Agency for Maritime Affairs, Achille GUÉYE, who deputized for the Senegalese Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Pape Sané Mbaye.
“Established in 1999, the Abuja MoU is part of the global efforts to monitor all vessels across the nine regions identified by IMO,” he told JollofNews.
“The main objective is to ensure maritime security cooperation capable of harmonizing port state control,” he added. “We are striving to eliminate substandard vessels in order to save life at sea, protect marine ecosystem by preventing pollution.”