By Godwin Oritse
Nigeria has been re-elected Council member of the International Maritime Organisation(IMO) in category â€˜Câ€™ at the election which took placeÂ at the on-goingÂ 26th Regular Session of the IMO General Assembly at itsÂ Corporate Headquarters in London.
The Nigerian delegation to the IMO Assembly was led by the Honourable Minister of TransportÂ Ibrahim Isa Bio. The Minister described Nigeriaâ€™s victory as well deserved, and as a sign of greaterÂ things to come for the country.
Nigeria polled 121 out of 153 votes to place 8th at an election that was keenly contested by 26 IMO Member States for 20 seats in category â€˜Câ€™ of the Council.
Maritime analystsÂ described the election as the toughest in theÂ history of IMO Council elections as all the contestants were formidable member states.
In 2007, when Nigeria was elected into Council, it polled 87 votes to place 19 out of 20 member states in category â€˜Câ€™.
However, due to dint of hard work and the consistent performance and contributions of Nigeriaâ€™s representation at the IMO since the last election, Nigeriaâ€™s profile at the IMO rose tremendously which resulted in the very good result at the election.
Nigeriaâ€™s preparation for the Council election was wellÂ planned and was bolstered by the encouragement of President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™ardua, who instructed the Minister of Transport in a memo that â€˜you must ensure that
we do not loseâ€™. That directive was kept to the letter by the Minister of Transport and his delegation.
Prior to the election, there wereÂ some scepticism in certain quarters in Nigeria , the victory has however provedÂ these critics wrong.
The Council of IMO is made up of 40 member countries in three categories.
There are ten countries in category â€˜Aâ€™, another ten in category â€˜Bâ€™ and twenty countries in category â€˜Câ€™.
Each Council member irrespective of the category has only one vote when certain decisions require voting.