Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on Wednesday stressed the need for Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) to display a high level of professionalism in carrying out their duties of inspecting foreign ships at national ports.
Amaechi spoke at the 11th Port State Control Committee (PSC) Meeting of the Memorandum of Understanding on PSC for West and Central Africa Region also known as Abuja MoU, in Lagos.
He reiterated that the essence of PSC was “the inspection of Ships, to verify their condition, equipment, and whether the ship is manned and operated in compliance with the requirements of international conventions and regulations to ensure maritime safety and security of lives, assets and to prevent pollution.”
Referring to PSCOs as ambassadors of the MoU, the Minister stated that continuous training is required to maintain set standards at Ports, and called on member states to work together in achieving set goals.
He said “Bearing in mind that Port State Control Officers are ambassadors of the MoU, it is therefore important that they constantly undergo continuous training which would impact on their knowledge and skills, as well as on their overall standard of inspections at the Ports. However, this cannot be achieved without the commitment, financial and otherwise of every Member State.
“We must all join forces and strive to ensure that we constantly uphold the ideals and objectives upon which the MoU was established. For this reason, I urge all Member States to play their part in contributing towards the growth of the Abuja MoU, so that we can constantly meet with expectations and safeguard our marine domains”.
Amaechi however thanked Member states for ensuring that the Abuja MoU performed well in the face of Covid19 and urged them not to relent in their commitments to inspections, training and overall contributions.
“I must thank most of our Member States for their performance and swift responses in declaring seafarers as key workers and in lending their support to ensure that the impact of COVID- 19 did not disrupt global shipping. While it is to be noted that the resulting effect of the pandemic slowed down inspection of vessels, nonetheless, based on our 2020 Report, the Abuja MoU performed relatively well in the inspection of vessels that called at our Ports,” he said.