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IMO berates African member-states on maritime audit implementation

By ADAKU WALTER

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has said all audited African member states have not completed, terminated or effectively implemented the agreed Corrective Action Plan (CAP) after the follow up audit timeline.

It stated this at the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop for Heads of Maritime Administration in West and Central Africa region in Lagos State and facilitated by the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control for West and Central African Region and the IMO.

Head of Africa Section, Subdivision for Maritime Development Technical Cooperation Division of IMO, William Azuh, who drew the attention of participants to the International Maritime Organisation Member States Audit (IMSAS), noted that nearly 100 per cent of the maritime administrations in the region had been audited with dismal performance on the CAP actions.

He pointed out that since the commencement of the audit in January 2016, about 20 African member states were audited, including Nigeria, Cape Verde, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Gambia, Sudan and Togo.

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He disclosed that the audited member states were provided with an Audit Final Report (AFR) that reflected the agreed corrective action plan, which was to be effectively implemented after three or four years of the audit.

“After the period of the follow-up audit, none of the audited African Member States had completed, terminated or effectively implemented the agreed CAP. If there is no feedback from the audit, you would then wonder why your administrations were audited in the first place.

“IMO has been literally ‘begging’ the maritime administrations to report to it on the corrective actions implemented, which were part of the audit recommendations. IMO is willing to assist the countries to implement the corrective actions, but the initiation will have to come from them,” he said.

Azuh further noted that the provision of regular updates of Comments on the Progress of the Implementation of the Corrective Action Plan (CPICAP) to the IMO also recorded very low engagement/involvement of the member states, noting that a CPICAP model form has been developed to assist member states communicate with IMO.

He also revealed that since the beginning of the mandatory phase of the audit, no training has been organised for auditors in the African region, noting that the latest one was held in Togo in 2015 for 23 participants from nine African member states.

“Only three auditors among the 23 trained were nominated by their respective administrations,” he said, adding that this needed to be addressed by encouraging member states to nominate auditors, as that was the essence of the training, while advocating participation of women auditors for the maiden IMO International Day for Women in Maritime slated for May 18, 2022.

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