--Says country is committed to maritime security, and seafarers wellbeing
On the margins of the COP26 taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, Commissioner of Maritime, Eugene Lenn Nagbe participated in a seminar arranged by the Liberia Ship Owners Council Board where he assured Ship Owners of vessels under the registry of the Liberian government of a pragmatic regulation, passionate client-service and support for the tireless seafarers who move the global feet as well as ensuring security and safety in the maritime sector.
Commissioner Nagbe who attended the gathering for the first time since his appointment by President Weah in 2020 by Mr. Weah told the gathering that his preferment came with a marching order to keep the Liberia Maritime Authority, which he is heading focused on its goals of advancing Liberia as a maritime state and also supporting the macro-levels needs of Liberian-flagged ship owners, amongst other things.
Commissioner Nagbe said strategically, the International Maritime Organization(IMO) is the most critical venue for achieving these goals and added that Liberia has a track-record of promoting positive regulatory change with deep consideration for their effective implementation. He also said Liberia has taken what is believed to be the sensible approach to Ballast Water, IMO 2020, and presently with regards to the issue of emissions.
“The maritime industry must continuously evolve and improve, but in a harmonious manner that is operationally and financially feasible for shipowners. Liberia is committed to redoubling our engagement at the IMO, and strives to be on the IMO Council. Our aim is to be at the center of shaping the regulations and standards of tomorrow”, he said.
Commissioner Nagbe said Liberia's efforts to care for the macro-level concerns of ship owners has also propelled the country to tackle the issue of maritime security and lamented that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has reached an intolerable level and as an ECOWAS member-state, Liberia is uniquely positioned to work with other West African nations to reach a sustainable solution to the problem. “Over the past 12 months the Liberian government has initiated high-level diplomatic dialogue on this issue. I am personally committed to championing Liberia’s initiative to address this matter”, Commissioner Nagbe said.
“Our hope is to find global and regional solutions to this problem, which impacts ship owners and the vulnerable seafarers who are confronted with such violence”, he stated.
Continuing further he said, “Seafarers are the most important asset in our industry and we have a legal and moral obligation to protect them. It is for this reason that Liberia has continuously worked throughout the pandemic to advocate for seafarers being designated as essential workers. We will continue to publicly demand for seamless crew changes and onshore emergency medical support”, he noted.
Commissioner Nagbe also spoke on the positive development taking place within the country’s own community of seafarers and reported that the Liberian Maritime Training Institute, graduated its first batch of cadets in 2019 and is currently educating a new class of bright young students. “I want to thank d’Amico Shipping and APM Terminals for their funding support in further training and employing LMTI’s talented Liberian students. They are the future for transforming Liberia into a maritime nation with maritime talent. I also like to encourage and invite you to our loyal shipowner community to be a part of this exciting endeavor; contact us with any interest in collaborating with this extraordinary program”, he said.
“Lastly, I want to thank the entire Liberian-flagged ship owner community for your trust and loyalty. The Liberian Registry is proud to be serving shipowners for over 70 years. Our success as an industry institution is due to our close partnership with you. I look forward to future success together”, he concluded.