By Alagie Manneh
Works minister Bai Lamin Jobe has criticised the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (Mowca), saying it has failed for the past 10 years to meet the yearnings and expectations of member states.
He was speaking Monday as he pledged the country’s support of Dr. Paul Adalikwu, the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s candidate for secretary general of Mowca.
Minister Jobe told his Nigerian counterparts that Mowca is in need of a vibrant leadership with ideas which Nigeria has to offer.
The Federal Government delegation was in the country to solicit The Gambia’s support.
Jobe told the Nigerian Minister of State for transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, that her mission to his country was a success since Mowca has failed in regards to its objectives of promoting maritime trade, safer and environmentally efficient shipping among its member countries.
“My country is in support of your candidate. When we received your message about this visit and the purpose for which you are coming, I consulted our maritime administration and ports authority for advice. Their advice about you and your mission is very positive,” minister Jobe said.
He told the delegates that he has done research on the candidate and found him “eminently qualified” and fit for the job.
“He is young and we are looking up to people like him to come to Mowca and change things for the better. I can tell you that in the last ten years, Mowca has not lived up to expectations. I really don’t understand why they chose to operate like that,” the minister complained.
He added: “As a member of the Governing Council of the Regional Maritime University in Ghana, I keep hearing them mention Mowca as a critical stakeholder organisation to the institution but it has never showed up for once or participated in anything being done there.
“This move by Nigeria to us is a welcome development and I am pleased to inform you that your visit to us is very successful,” Jobe remarked.
Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have written to convey their support for Mr. Adalikwu as the next SG of Mowca while Niger, Cameroun, and Cote d’Voire articulated verbal support through government officials.
Mowca was established under the Abidjan Charter of May 1975 as the Ministerial Conference of West and Central African States on Maritime Transport (MINCONMAR). The objective of Mowca is to serve the regional and international community for handling all maritime matters that are regional in character.