President Muhammmadu Buhari has appealed to member-states of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, GGC, to remit their outstanding Annual Assessed Contributions to the Secretariat.
He noted that that continued non-payment by the majority has greatly affected the ability of the Commission to fulfil the mandate for which it was established in 2001.
The President made the appeal at a virtual meeting of the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the Commission, convened to review progress on efforts to deal with the maritime challenges in the region.
President Buhari told the gathering that Nigeria considered the effective functioning of the GGC as strategic to the collective security interest in the Gulf region, particularly in addressing issues of piracy, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, protection of marine resources, as well as irregular migration to the region.
The President pledged that Nigeria would continue to deploy significant resources towards tackling piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
He explained that through the Deep Blue Project in June 2021, Nigeria unveiled $195m worth of boats, vehicles and aircraft to spearhead the country’s fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The President expressed profound gratitude to fellow Heads of member-states for the support accorded him during his tenure as Chairman of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the GGC.
President Buhari congratulated the Executive Secretary of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, Ambassador Florentina Ukonga, and her team for their hard work and commitment in running the organization effectively.
Acknowledging the great work done by the outgoing Executive Committee, led by Ambassador Ukonga, in spite of the paucity of funds, the President expressed the hope that the virtual summit would yield fruitful results that would move the organization forward.
President Nana Akuffo-Ado of Ghana emerged the new President at the end of the summit.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare