- Aminu Umar inaugurated as President of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping
The Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has called for the creation of a separate Ministry of Maritime Affairs to enable the nation realize the enormous potentials in the sector.
Sambo made this call yesterday, in agreement to an earlier appeal by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, at the investiture of Mr. Aminu Umar as the new President of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS) in Lagos.
His words: “Indeed, I agree that there should be and there must be a seperate Ministry of Maritime Affairs. This is because Nigeria has no business depending on oil. The maritime industry in the country is big enough to guarantee economic prosperity for the nation.”
He, however, expressed delight at the contributions of the NCS to the advancement of the nation’s shipping sector, noting that the organization has been led by great Nigerians over the years and grown to become an umbrella body for all stakeholders in the maritime/shipping industry in Nigeria.
Addressing the newly inaugurated NCS President, Mr. Aminu Umar and Vice President, Ify Akerele, Sambo said: “It is apt to recall the popular saying, “Teamwork makes the dream work”. Alone we can do so little, together we can do much. The success of the team inaugurated today will be achieved through collaboration, among many other factors. Change the narrative, build on the achievements of your predecessors and make the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping an enviable organization.”
The Minister described Aminu Umar as someone with immense humility and an endearing disposition worthy of commendation, adding that the Chamber will prosper under Aminu’s watch on account of his amazing leadership traits and his impeccable team.
“The unique position attained by this Chamber in the Nigerian maritime industry as a bridge between stakeholders and policymakers has become the first African member organization to be admitted into the board of the International Chamber of Shipping, which has brought this organization closer to the international maritime community, is worthy of commendation.”
“A few months ago, upon assuming office as the Minister of Transportation, I decided to go after the proverbial low-hanging fruits that will positively impact the Maritime landscape in a short time. My team and I took a thorough assessment of projects in all parastatals under the Ministry and we made a list of deliverables within the time frame we have, and we put in the will and resources to achieve them.”
“Without knowing the proponents behind the Badagry Seaport, reading through the memorandum and being convinced that it will further boost shipping activities in Nigeria, we presented it to the Federal Executive Council at our maiden appearance and got immediate approval,” he said.
Sambo also identified the establishment of Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) like Dala in Kano, Kano State and Funtua in Katsina State, the Lekki Deep Sea Port already commissioned and the recently approved development of the Ilaje deep seaport in Ondo State, Snake Island in Lagos and the Burutu Port in Delta State; as commendable developments in the nation’s shipping sector.
Earlier, the immediate-past President of NCS, Mr. Andy Isichei highlighted some achievements of his administration to include membership of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) as NCS became a full member of ICS in 2021, making Nigeria the first African country operating within the continent to achieve that feat.
“Membership at ICS opens new vistas for us. It provides us with the opportunity to complement NIMASA’s efforts in securing training opportunities and engagement of our teeming seafarers on international ocean-going vessels. ICS members who own most of the very large crude carrier (VLCC), container vessels, etc. that engage in international trade will now form a huge market for our seafarers. The implication of this is that we have more opportunities to actualize the capacity development of our seafarers with direct impact on the forex reserves of our dear country, Nigeria.”
“Through our participation in various committees and working groups, we have actively represented and put the interests of the Nigerian shipping industry on the international stage. Our engagement with the ICS also provides us with invaluable opportunities to connect with global industry leaders, share best practices, and contribute to shaping international maritime policies,” he said.
Nonetheless, he expressed confidence that under President Umar’s leadership, NCS engagement with the ICS will continue to flourish, further strengthening the NCS’s position as a respected player in the global maritime community.
In his acceptance speech, the new NCS President, Mr. Aminu Umar, expressed gratitude for the trust placed on him and the privilege to lead the NCS.
“I am grateful for the trust you have placed in me and I’m committed to leading our Chamber towards new heights of success and achievement. Let me commence by expressing my sincere appreciation to my predecessor, Mr. Andy Isichei whose tireless efforts and exceptional leadership have paved the way for our collective success. Under their guidance, the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping has grown in stature and influence and I’m committed to building upon that foundation as we move forward.”
“As we embark on this journey together, I would like to appreciate the regulatory agencies and call for more collaboration and support. I assure that my primary objective as President is to advance the interests of the Nigerian shipping industry. We will work tirelessly to promote a vibrant and competitive maritime sector that contributes significantly to our national economy,” he stated.