Veteran ship owner and former Chairman of the Indigenous Shipowners Association (ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, has dissociated himself from a group which recently announced its plans to resuscitate the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX).
NIMAREX which was the brainchild of ISAN as a Nigerian maritime industry based annual event was fashioned after the famous international Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), holding annually in Texas, United States of America.
The crowd-pulling NIMAREX was rested in 2017 after its successful outings in three consecutive years, following internal squabbles between top echelons of its parent body.
Not a few eyebrows were however raised recently, when a relatively unknown group sent out invitations to prominent industry players, government agencies and journalists, claiming it had been “authorized to re-awaken” the sleeping annual expo.
However, when our correspondent cornered Chief Jolapamo in an exclusive interview at a Breakfast Meeting organized by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) which held in Apapa, Thursday, the shipping magnate disclosed that neither he nor the new association, Nigeria Shipowners’ Association (NISA), an offshoot of ISAN, was involved in the fresh bid.
According to him, NISA which recently held its elections that ushered in a new leadership for the association would ultimately reopen the doors of NIMAREX, devoid of the current activities and involvement of any cloning group.
Reacting to the use of his office facilities in holding the maiden meetings of the group which is now laying claims to the rebirth of NIMAREX, the Chief Executive of Morlap Group said he was surprised at the turn of events, since the group merely asked him for a space within his office facilities to hold a meeting without any reference to NIMAREX, whatsoever.
“It was a surprise and embarrassment to me when words started coming out that they were holding NIMAREX meetings in my office. I had to promptly shut the office space, to save me from any further embarrassment on the issue”, he said.
Jolapamo disclosed that the new NISA would soon come out to announce its intentions for NIMAREX, following the recent inauguration of its officials, culminating in the acquisition of a new office for the association.
The new leader of NISA, Otunba Sola Adewunmi had during his inauguration disclosed that NIMAREX will hold before the end of 2023 or early next year.
“We wouldn’t want to put up a haphazard event, so if the event does not happen in 2023, it will take place in early next year. We will institute a strong committee that will drive this project. As we all know, this event is fashioned after the OTC, we will come together to fashion how best the Nigerian maritime industry to the world.
Chief Jolapamo who is Chairman of the association’s Board of Trustees, had similarly at the inauguration event expressed confidence in the ability of the new executives to hit the ground running now that the baton of leadership had been formally handed over to them.