The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) study team has validated and adopted the report of the organisation’s study group on the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).
Mr Pathe Gueye, Chairman of the ratification and Commissioner for Infrastructure, ECOWAS Commission, charged member states on the domestication of the policy.
The ratification which took place in Lagos focused on regional capacity building on ship and port facility.
The chairman said the aim of the study was to promote the commission’s regional integration agenda particularly in the area of ensuring peace, security and economic integration through a security threat-free seaborne trade.
“Free movement of people within the sub-region should be encouraged mostly as it concerns commerce which bolsters intra-human relationship.
“The validation workshop have been fruitful in that it has provided a prelude to an optimistic regional blueprint for the full implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) to the universal standard.
“Security on our waters have become a menace that we need to put heads together and think outside the box for a permanent solution before it engulfed us all,”Gueye said.
He called on member states to apply the certified policy on regional maritime development as an antidote for the common good as regards coastal security.
Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), a guest at the event said the agency was in 2013 appointed to oversee the implementation of the ISPS Code in Nigeria.
Peterside said that the agency with the help of international partners like the US Coast Guard, the International Maritime Organisation and others had been building human and material capacity.