There are indications that the aims and objectives for which the Gulf of Guinea was established in 2001 is being threatened, a situation that has prompted President Muhammmadu Buhari to call for debt remittances by member States.
Buhari made the appeal on Thursday, at a meeting involving member-states of the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC).
He claimed the continued non-payment of their outstanding Annual Assessed Contributions to the Secretariat, by the majority has greatly affected the ability of the Commission to fulfil its mandate.
At a virtual meeting of the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the Commission, which was partly convened to review progress on efforts to deal with the maritime challenges in the region, Buhari called for urgent collective action against the dangers and threats affecting maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea Region.
Buhari also told the Summit that Nigeria considers the effective functioning of the GGC as strategic to the collective security interest in the Gulf region, especially issues affecting piracy, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, including protection of marine resources as well as irregular migration to the region.
He told participants that as a demonstration of the Nigerian government firm commitment towards the repositioning of the GGC into a more vibrant Organization that will effectively deliver on its mandate, we had to host the 4th Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government of the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) which held from 21st – 23rd November, 2017 in Abuja.
“In addition, Nigeria hosted the 11th Ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Gulf of Guinea in Abuja from 19th to 20th November, 2019 as part of efforts to revitalize the activities of the Commission,” Buhari stated.
The meeting also afforded Buhari opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Florentina Ukonga, the Executive Secretary of the GGC, and her team for their hard work and commitment not only towards the organisation of this Summit, but in running the organization effectively.
By acknowledging the great work done by the outgoing Executive Committee led by Ambassador Ukonga in spite of the paucity of funds the Committee has been grappling with, the President said he was optimistic that the virtual Summit would yield fruitful results that would move the organisation forward.
Meanwhile, President Nana Akuffo-Ado of Ghana emerged the new President of GGC at the end of the Summit.