Dr. Paul Adalikwu has emerged as the new secretary General of the Maritime organization of west and central Africa (MOWCA) in the just concluded election during the ordinary session of the General Assembly of Maritime Organization of West and Central African (MOWCA) in Accra Ghana on Thursday.
Dr Adalikwu is the Director, Maritime Safety and Security, Federal Ministry of Transportation, he is the first Nigerian to lead MOWCA after 45 years of its formation.
In his acceptance speech, the new MoWCA Secretary General, Dr Adalikwu, acknowledged the roles of maritime trade to global economy and promised the region a revolutionary turaround in all aspect of maritime activities during his tenure as a way of ensuring Africa take her place in the league of maritime activities in the world.
“I pledge that within my tenure as SG-MOWCA, the region will not just be a maritime trade highway, but will witness a revolutionary turn around 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 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.”
Appreciating the Hon. Minister of Transportation Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for seeking the approval of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to make him 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.
Aalikwu stated, “It is on reqcord 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.
“My warmest regards to H. E. 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.
“My sincere appreciations to my Permanent Secretary, the indefatigable Dr. Magdalene Ajani for meticulously ensuring that things were done rightly and when the need to take a stand came, she did take a stand; Heads of Maritime Agencies of Nigeria, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maritime Stakeholders and members of the diplomatic corps of member states who all worked to ensure that we have this day. May I most sincerely thank the Chairman for rising up to salvage the image of the Organization. My sincere commendations go to the out-going Secretary General who I will most times call upon for expert advice in the course of discharging my duties.
“Finally, by your votes, you have entered a contract with me and I pledge to keep the terms and work for the revival of MOWCA. I will not fail you.”
The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki who led the Nigerian delegation, earlier in remarks before the election encouraged countries present to vote and have faith in Nigeria. She also emphasized on the need for a strong leadership with competence and focus.
Explaning futher, she said, “What we expect is complete re-engineering of the Maritime domain within west and central Africa. What COVID-19 did was that, it showed everybody that at the end of the day, we will have your own backing at your own home, so we really need to strengthen that. We really need to compete internationally on the world stage. We should not limit ourselves.
“Do you know that one of us had to fly from Congo to Paris first before you could get a flight to Ghana? We need more interconnectivity within ourselves and that can only happen by strong unions and associations,” She said.
President Buhari nominated Cross Riverian, Dr Paul Adalikwu as a candidate for Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa, MOWCA Secretary-General position in April 2021, following his appointment by the Federal Government into the organisation in 2020.
ROYAL NEWS reports that Adalikwu is the Director, Maritime Safety and Security, Federal Ministry of Transportation.
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