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……Ms. Edwina Collins assures as she appears for confirmation hearing

Ms. Edwina Collins, the presidential nominee for the post of Deputy Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, has vowed to prioritize Liberia’s interests if her appointment is confirmed by the Liberian Senate.

She believes she has the zest and potential to place Liberia’s interest at the forefront of every negotiation at the Liberia Maritime Authority and added that if she’s confirmed as the Deputy Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, it will serve as a huge motivation for scores of other young women in Liberia.

In her presentation to members of the Liberian Senate during her confirmation hearing on Thursday, March 9, 2023, Mrs. Collins pledged to ensure that ships flying the flag of Liberia are in compliance with the regulations of the Liberia Maritime Authority and international standards.

She assured me to work with technical inspectors that are knowledgeable about the workings of the Liberia Maritime Authority and effectuate efforts to ensure more Liberian representation at the Liberia Maritime Registry.

Ms. Collins articulated that Liberia has an open registry, and as such, the country needs Liberian representation on vessels that are registered under the Liberian flag to ensure that the right decisions are made in the interest of the country.

Ms. Collins, who sounded more schooled and educated about the workings of the Liberia Maritime Authority, demonstrated competence during the Senate confirmation hearing by placing more emphasis on the concerns of the lawmakers with regard to issues involving the operation of the LMA and her qualifications.

As the hearing was tense with countless concerns from opposition lawmakers and following her previous experience with the senate, she saw it as a demonstration that women can be resilient, despite challenges and obstacles they might experience.

“I stand on the shoulders of many women that are there to lead, inspire, and aspire for positions like this in a highly male-dominated industry”, she narrated.

Additionally, she alluded that, if confirmed, she’s coming to the Liberian Maritime Authority with a youthful dynamic that endeavors to prioritize competent youth involvement at the LMA.

As she awaits a response from the Liberia Senate with regard to the outcome of her hearing, Mrs. Collins has expressed confidence in the process, as she anticipates a positive outcome of Thursday’s hearing.

“I’m hopeful; I know I did my best; I know I’m ready to lead and serve my country in the best way possible, and I’m hopeful for a positive outcome of today’s confirmation hearing”, she said.

Commenting on her credentials, about which several concerns have been raised, Mrs. Collins confirmed that she’s a master’s degree holder and a prospective graduate of the Nairobi Aviation College.

“I have a master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies from Kenyatta University; I graduate in July of 2022, and as I said, I have completed my studies in maritime management at the Nairobi Aviation College under the school of clearing and forwarding and a diploma in maritime management,”, she clarified.

Upon exhausting her presentation, Mrs. Collins was hailed by several members of the Liberian Senate, including Margibi County Senator Emmanuel Nuquay, Montserrado County Senator Saah Joseph, and Lofa County Senator Joseph Jallah, amongst several others.

The lawmakers guaranteed their support for the female appointee and encouraged their colleagues to vote for her in order to ensure that she was confirmed.

Members of the Liberian Senate committee on maritime are expected to critique the appointee’s presentation and qualifications in a special committee room, which will be followed by a voting process by all members of the Liberian Senate.

Following said process, Mrs. Collins will be communicated with regard to the outcome of the hearing.

Mrs. Collins, while in a conversation with legislative reporters after the confirmation hearing, appreciated the President for entrusting her to serve on a national scale and believing that she was not too young to lead.

She further applauded members of the Liberian government for affording her their time, thus recognizing her potential and adhering to their constitutional mandate.

The functions of the Deputy Commissioner position, to which Ms. Collins was appointed, including reviewing and signing off on all certificates and registration documents of vessels, as well as ensuring that mortgage documents are completed in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Liberia and relevant international laws and conventions.

The function of the Deputy Commissioner for Registration is also intrinsic to the execution of Liberia’s responsibility as a nation-state, specifically with respect to executing and endorsing various registrations and technical certificates.

The Deputy Commissioner for Registration is a position that already exists and is attached to the Liberian Consulate in New York, and its core function is to oversee the registration of vessels and conduct all of the government’s functions on behalf of the Government of Liberia.

Ms. Edwina Collins was appointed in 2022 by President George W. Bush but was rejected on June 9, 2022, following information from the Senate Committee on Maritime, as they insinuated that she didn’t meet the necessary qualifications and experience at the time.

Basically, all vessel registration activities are conducted at the Registry office in New York.


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