- Tinubu should appoint technocrats as Maritime CEOs
Nigerian maritime experts have attributed the nation’s deteriorating port infrastructure and other misconducts in shipping to leadership flaws in the sector and the persistent appointment of politicians rather than technocrats to head strategic agencies.
These postulations were made at the breakfast meeting organized by Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) on the deplorable port infrastructure at Tin Can Island Port, yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been admonished to appoint technocrats as helmsmen into Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) linked to the nation’s maritime sector.
The President General of Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Prince Adewale Adeyanju made this call, even as he stressed that appointing inexperienced personalities as Chief Executives easily leads to misguided decisions that stagnate the nation’s maritime industry.
He attributed the collapsing quay aprons at Tin Can, dilapidated port access roads leading to Onne and Calabar ports as issues that would have been tackled headlong if technocrats were appointed to lead port regulatory agencies like the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Adeyanju described the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, and the immediate-past Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello as good examples of technocrats who had decades of industry experience before rising to lead their respective agencies.
The Union leader, who also doubles as the Deputy National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), observed that NPA has been deprived of quality leadership in recent years.
Corroborating Adeyanju’s views, the Chairman of the occasion and former President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Eugene Nweke encouraged the new administration to ensure only veterans are appointed to lead maritime agencies.
Nweke, who is currently the Head of Research, Sea Empowerment Research Centre, argued that maritime industry stakeholders must deepen their advocacy and advisory strategies to get the new administration appoint people who will salvage the nation’s ailing port sector.
Worried by deplorable state of the nation’s port infrastructure especially at the Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) presently characterized by collapsing quay aprons and huge gullies, Nigeria’s foremost Maritime beat association, Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) organized the strategic summit to provide answers to this menace.
Also speaking, a former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan Omatseye, l the problem of deteriorating port infrastructure to overdependence on Lagos ports while ports in other states are grossly underutilized.
Omatseye called for the development of river ports to disseminate cargoes via inland waterways, adding that the challenge of security along the Eastern ports is being exaggerated.
Some eminent port stakeholders at the summit were; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nigeria Shipowners’ Association (NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapomo; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime; President, Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN), Hon. Olubunmi Olumekun; among others.
The Guest Speaker, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, was represented by the General Manager, Managing Director’s office at Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Ayo Durowaiye.