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Monday 2nd September 2019 was indeed a new dawn in PMAWCA as it witnessed the handing over of the mantle of leadership.  Mr. Augustin Fatondji TONAN, Acting Secretary General, who was from the Port of Cotonou, had been nominated as interim Secretary General by the Board of Directors in 2018. He steered this ship effectively for one year. It was however time for him to officially handover to the duly elected Secretary General, Mr. Jean Marie KOFFI, who is seconded from the Port of Abidjan and was voted for by an overwhelming majority of PMAWCA member countries at the 40th annual council meeting in Lomé, Togo, in June this year.

The venue of swearing-in ceremony was the PMAWCA Secretariat, Apapa GRA, Lagos. The event commenced at 11 am prompt with invitees seated. The Nigerian Ports Authority being the dutiful and ever supportive PMAWCA host country, played a very important role as the Chairperson at this event. The ceremony was witnessed by The PMAWCA President and Managing Director of Ghana Ports and Harbours, Mr. Michael Achagwe LUGUJE, Managing Director of the Port of Abidjan Mr. SIE HIEN YACOUBA, the incoming Secretary General’s host port who was ably represented by the top management personnel from his port.

Also represented were the Managing Director of the Port of Lomé, Rear Admiral Fogan Kodjo ADEGNON, and the Managing Director of the Port of Cotonou Mr. Christiaan Julius B. DE BLOCK. Senior management from the Nigerian Shippers Council, PMAWCA members of staff, the press and several well wishers from far and near also graced the event.

Congratulatory, support and goodwill messages were read by representatives of the managing directors who all wished Mr. KOFFI a fruitful tenure. The Nigerian Port Authority Managing Director, Mrs Hadiza Bala-Usman represented by Dr. Mrs Chinwe Abama, General Manager MD’s office, promised that the NPA would continue to play its role as host and ensure the growth of the association.

The incoming Secretary General took his oath of office and thereafter gave his acceptance speech and an insight into his plans for his tenure. Mr. Koffi told the eminent gathering, ’’Going forward, PMAWCA will build on what my predecessor had done and create a network for sharing port and maritime security information, intelligence gathering and sharing as the association will seek to contribute towards the wider effort to strengthening maritime security.’’ Koffi noted that, PMAWCA is an example of a strong regional co-operation which would help member nations share information that would help grow the regional economy. He also promised amongst various other points, to leverage on deliberate government policies of member nations aimed at improving the ports and maritime industry in the region and added that the future of the development of the region lies in the strengthening of its multi-modal infrastructure systems to ensure the networking of the ports in the hinterland, where massive natural and man-made wealth in resources is generated.

The ceremony ended with a reception at the residence of the Secretary General.

Congratulatory messages have since been pouring in from across the maritime industry as well as PMAWCA member countries.Handling

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