Monrovia — Maritime Commissioner, Lenn Eugene Nagbe has disclosed plans for the Liberia Maritime Authority to take its rightful place among nations and member countries of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. The IMO was established following agreement at a UN conference held in Geneva in 1948. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, the IOM currently has 174 member states and three associate members.
“I believe that in the next Council for 2022-2023, Liberia will take its rightful place,” said Commissioner Nagbe who spoke on a local radio talk show in Monrovia.
Commissioner Nagbe asserted that despite the fact that Liberia is not on the IMO’s Council, the country’s Maritime Authority is doing everything possible to see how they can lay proposals in consultation with other member-states to see how a new pace can be set for new regulations.
Nagbe said on the issue of piracy, the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) has made its voice very loud and that it denounced all piracy activities in the gulf of Guinea.
The LiMA top official revealed that whenever a Liberian flag ship is found wanted or found culpable for violating the maritime code or activities, LiMA with immediate effect delists such vessels.
He indicated that whenever such a situation occurs, LiMA doesn’t wait for the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or the US State or Treasury Department to give instructions but rather use internal mechanisms within LiMA to address the situation.
Commissioner Nagbe stressed that the country’s Maritime house wants clean ships on their list, not ships that are involved with dubious activities.
Nagbe maintained that LiMA is in constant engagement with the United Nations, Americans, aimed at doing a routine check of vessels flying Liberian flags as a means of ensuring that those ships are in the confine of the rules and regulations governing the sector.
Nagbe revealed that LiMA recently recommended that 80 ships should not be awarded the opportunity to register based on the inner findings of the Authority.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Commissioner Nagbe noted that LiMA has given discounts to ships registered under the Liberian registry.
He stated that LiMA is in competition with other Maritime countries around the world as such the Authority has to take measures in line with the sector that will encourage vessel owners to register under the Liberian Authority.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Nagbe assured the public that LiMA has a state of the art system where ships under the Liberia Registry are monitored regularly to ensure ethical compliance.
“Right now, I can tell you each of the almost 5000 ships registered under our program. I can tell you where they are. We have a State of the art system that I can tell you where the ships are” Nagbe maintained.
However, he pointed out that Liberia needs more professionals in the sector to provide service to ships registered under the Liberian Registry, citing “This is why we are focusing on training at the Maritime Training Institute in Marshall”.
He stated that all of the graduates of the last batch from the Maritime Training Institute in Marshall are working in the Maritime Industry.
He narrated that LiMA is elevating the argument that Liberia can’t be the second largest registry and then have five to ten percent on ships.
Nagbe noted that if Liberia can have competent individuals in the sector, which according to him will be trained by LiMA, then the Authority can sustain the argument.
Commissioner Nagbe also revealed that in June of 22, several Librarians will be graduating from the Regional African Maritime University in Ghana.
“They have been topping their classes and we will be gradually sending a new batch when that group graduates,” Commissioner Nagbe assured.
He further assured the public that LiMA will be sending a new batch of Librarians to the World Maritime University in Malta where they will be studying Maritime laws.