Stakeholders Celebrate Amaechi
As He Eulogize Maritime CEOs
Erstwhile minister of transportations, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, while recounting his experiences in government thus far at a dinner held in his honour by private/public sector operators in Nigeria’s maritime industry, said he has no regrets whatsoever in the choices he made in appointing heads of federal government Agencies in the industry.
According to the minister, with Barrister Hassan Bello at the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, DR. Dakuku Peterside at the Nigerian Maritime Administrations and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Hadiza Bala Usman at the Nigeria Ports Authority, Commodore Duja Effedua at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora at the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, there is hope for the industry if their performances so far are scrutinized objectively.
In Amaechi’s words “Their appointments are based exclusively on their ability to deliver. I worked with them very closely prior to their appointments and I had no doubt in my mind that they could deliver on the expectations of the federal government from the sector”.
“There were pressures and candidates being pushed by big men but once I am convinced of something, I go ahead with it and I am happy I did what I did when I did it as their efforts and the results they have shown are signs of even better, brighter future for Nigeria’s maritime industry”.
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria is one institution which Amaechi said he is particularly happy about on account of the turn-around in terms of development and ongoing restructuring at the Academy being executed by the Rector.
In his words “The Academy is one place that caused me sleepless nights because while other maritime Academies established in Egypt, India and other countries within the same period that MAN was established have grown to the extent where Nigeria even send Cadets to such institutions for trainings, our own MAN refused to grow because some persons considered it their personal estate or village property”
“I actually wanted a northerner to head the place so that all those claiming ownership will know it is a federal institution. When I could not find a willing candidate from that side, I looked around and discovered Commodore Effedua and I knew this is the man for the job”
“So far I think he has restored sanity at the Academy and when I visited the school towards the end of the last administration, what I saw gave me hope to believe that we are headed in the right direction. There is a lot of work to be done but I am sure if we had been going at the pace Effedua is going we would have gone far”
Amaechi also disclosed that it was a tough contest between him and Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state for Hadiza Bala Usman.
While the Governor wanted her as his chief of staff, Amaechi said because of the zeal and attention to details exhibited by Hadiza during the political campaigns of 2015 during which he served as Director General, he was convinced that she could deliver if appointed into higher office.
Amaechi revealed that he seized the opportunity when the governor travelled outside the country to announce her appointment as Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority-a development which the governor was not happy about, Amaechi said.
Described as an eagle and a lion combined, maritime stakeholders added that Amaechi out performed all previous transport ministers in the country. His vision, commitment and passion for national development, they said, cuts across ethnic divides, faith/creed.
Engr. Greg Ogbeifu, immediate past president of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, SOAN, was emphatic when he described Amaechi as the best thing to have happened to the Nigerian maritime industry, a statement which Dr. Vicky Haastrup, MD/CEO of ENL Consortium corroborated.
Chairman organizing committee of the dinner in honour of Amaechi, Mrs. Margret Orakwusi compared Amaechi to a crusader who came to reshape and transform the maritime/shipping sector.
According to Orakwusi, “Amaechi revolutionized the maritime industry by appointing capable men and women to steer and execute the mandates of Agencies in the sector. He did not appoint them and went to sleep, he kept them on their toes by constantly telling them of the importance of the maritime industry to the economy and the need to ensure that the derivables were made possible for the good of economy and citizens.
Dignitaries such as the Central Bank Governor, Secretary to the government of the federation, governors of Kaduna, Edo, Jigawa and Yobe states were in attendance to join the crème de-la crème of the Nigerian Maritime Industry in a night of honour and appreciation of a man who, maritime stakeholders were unanimous in saying continues to serve his fatherland unreservedly.