Nigeria was denied a seat on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council due to maritime sector issues, according to Rev. Jonathan Nicole, President, Shippers Association of Lagos.

Nicole made the revelation in a Saturday interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Lagos.

He urged the Federal Government to address the issues that he claimed had tarnished the sector.

Nigeria was elected into Category C of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday, after years of failed attempts to rejoin the elitist group of maritime nations since losing a re-election bid in 2011.

Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Vanuatu are the new members of Category C.

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South Africa, Kuwait, and Peru have joined Nigeria as losers. Vanatu, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are the three newcomers.

China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the winners in Category A.
Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates are the winners in Category B.

Insecurity, according to Nicole, is tarnishing Nigeria’s image.

Despite the government’s massive presence in the Gulf of Guinea with warships, he claimed, pirates continued to operate with impunity.

“The trading platform is almost militarized, shippers are shady, and pirates threaten the fishing industry.”

“All of these are issues that the government needs to address.”

“All of the aforementioned issues, including the intimidation of key service providers, must be addressed in our maritime industry,” he said.

Nicole went on to say that the closure of Nigeria’s border may have cost it support from Francophone communities.

He urged Nigeria to conduct a thorough conflict resolution process in order to gain Francophone countries’ support. (NAN)

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