C'River Adalikwu Becomes Nigeria's First Sec-Gen Of Maritime Org Of West And Central Africa

Dr. Paul Adalikwu 

The Maritime Organization of West and Central African (MOWCA) has elected Nigeria’s Dr. Paul Adalikwu as Secretary-General. He will be the first Nigerian to occupy the office. 

Adalikwu, a native of Obudu local government area of Cross River State  was unanimously accepted by transport Ministers of MOWCA member countries. He's to run the organisation's affairs for four years from its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

Speaking, in his acceptance speech, he thanked the 25 MOWCA countries for the support and assured them of running the organisation in line with the rules and vision of its founding fathers. 

He pledged his commitment to mobilising all countries in West and Central Africa to maximize their maritime potentials for their individual and collective economic growth. 

According to him, “it is with utmost respect and emotion that I address you on my success at the just concluded election that has placed on me the onerous task of piloting the affairs of the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) in the next four (4) years.

“I wish to most sincerely thank the Minister of Transportation of Nigeria, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for seeking the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria that I be presented as Nigeria’s candidate for the post of Secretary-General of a Regional Organization that controls maritime activities in 25 Countries of the West and Central Africa sub-region.

“My warmest regards to Senator Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki, Minister of State, Transportation of Nigeria. She has doggedly championed the campaign activities in her capacity as the Chairperson of Nigeria’s election Planning Committee. Senator Saraki indeed proved herself, the amazon, resolute and resilient, never giving up and never getting tired even when it appeared that the election was taking a nosedive".

He added that, "It is on record that this is the very first time in the life of the Organization that Nigeria indicated interest to contest for the exulted position of Secretary-General of the body. By your enormous support and votes, you have this day placed on me the burden and challenge of properly placing MOWCA on the pedestal of executing the mandate of its founding fathers which is anchored on effective maritime trade and marine environmental protection among members of the sub-region, Africa and the world in general.

“I do acknowledge the role of maritime trade to the global economy and I pledge that within my tenure as SG-MOWCA, the region will not just be a maritime trade highway, but will witness a revolutionary turnaround in trading activities, marine health and security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) among member States leveraging on the Deep Blue maritime security infrastructure project championed by Nigeria. Africa is so highly endowed to have a positive impact on trading activities within its maritime domain and I will work very assiduously to see that we take our proper place in the global maritime space".

Processes for the election which began at the 15th General Assembly in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo in July got stalemated after Nigeria, the Benin Republic and Guinea presented candidates for the office.

MOWCA was established in May 1975 as the Ministerial Conference of West and Central African States on Maritime Transport (MINCONMAR), also called the Charter of Abidjan

The name was changed to MOWCA as part of reforms adopted by the General Assembly of Ministers of Transport, at an extraordinary session of the Organisation held in Abidjan the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire from 4-6 August 1999.

Objectives of MOWCA include serving the regional and international community for handling all maritime matters that are regional in character; cost-effective shipping, pollution-free marine environment and promoting safety and security in the region’s maritime domain. 
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