The Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) has said it is exploring possibilities of promoting dry port and inland container depot (ICD) establishment in landlocked countries.
The Secretary-General of the organisation, Dr. Paul Adalikwu, stated this during a visit to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, in Lagos.
Adalikwu also said plans have reached an advanced stage for the launch of the Regional Maritime Development Bank to be headquartered in Abuja, later this year.
He said the charter of the bank, whose President will be a Nigerian with two Vice Presidents from Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire, has been signed by almost 10 member states.
Adalikwu said his office would engage with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), World Maritime University (WMU) and the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to advance benefits to member countries.
The SG said his office would also engage the IMO Secretary-General to reactivate a desk for MOWCA while working on enlisting Nigeria and other member countries on the council of the organisation next year.
He expressed willingness to pursue strong MOWCA representation in the comity of maritime nations to avail West and Central Africa the opportunity to be part of global maritime decision-making.
He said MOWCA is about opening talks with WMU for academic exchange programmes and support of resource persons to boost the capacity of maritime training institutions in member states.
The SG, who described AfCFTA initiative as laudable, said MOWCA would interface with the secretariat in Accra on how to harness maritime trading potentials amongst African countries.
Bello-Koko restated the NPA’s commitment to the development of MOWAC. He also commended the roadmap for a better MOWCA being put in place by the new scribe.
According to him, NPA has always cooperated with the organisation in respect of the calculation of Nigeria’s dues.