Maritime

Stakeholders advise govt to appoint technocrats as heads of Blue Economy agencies.

Stakeholders advise govt to appoint technocrats as heads of Blue Economy agencies.

 

Segun Oladipupo

Stakeholders in the freight forwarding subsector of the maritime have kicked against the appointments of politicians as heads of agencies and parastatals under the ministry of the newly created Marine and Blue Economy .

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The stakeholders said because the ministry is highly technical, it requires persons with knowledge of the sector to drive it to efficiency

Speaking on Thursday at the 8th Anniversary of National Pathfinder Magazine in Lagos, a former gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Dr. Segun Musa maintained that the blue economy can only thrive when all necessary moves are made.

Dr. Musa who is also a chieftain of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), disclosed that the minister would only swallow hook and sinker all the information dished out to him by Maritime CEOs even when he doesn’t know whether they are right or not

As a result, Musa advised that the ministry must not be used as a testing ground for policies.

He urged stakeholders to always speak the truth as regards the blue economy adding that the the new ministry has no policies framework development.

His words, ”You cannot participate in blue Economy without participating in shipping. In 1980s, 1990s, we started with shipping building/acquisition fund but people will collect the money and waste it. That was how we did not have anyone to participate.

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“If you are not participating in shipping, you are not relevant in blue economy. That is why we have to look for ways to engage the government to disburse the fund so that the country can be relevant in blue economy.

“Politicians have been used to superintendent over the sector before, they all failed.

“Maritime should not be a place used to compensate politicians. We cannot continue this litmus test and expect to advance the sector.

“If you take them to the port and whatever you tell them is what they will take because they don’t have knowledge of the sector. You cannot take a marine surveyor to the port and begin to tell him what is not because he already knows what obtains.

“No serious nation will allow politicians to man agencies they don’t have knowledge of.

‘We can compensate politicians but not in a core sector like maritime because it will cause the sector to nosedive, it is where knowledgeable people are required.

“In maritime, if you don’t have the knowledge, you don’t have it. That is why I am saying transport sector should not be given to politicians,” Dr. Musa informed.

In the same vein, a former National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Shittu Olayiwole urged government to appoint individuals who are discipline and qualifed to man maritime agencies.

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Citing instances, he noted that there was no way a lawyer could perform effectively when appointed to supervise an engineering sector.

Shittu who was represented at the event by Pius Ujubonu reiterated that the blue economy industry has the potentials to create millions of jobs and untapped wealth noting that “Nigeria is a very blessed nation with several resources both known and yet unknown resources.

“The blue Economy sounds new but it is something that is as old as our existence with aquatic splendour almost unlimited spreading the southern part of Nigeria

“Over 80 or 90 of what is there is rarely harnessed and when we do that, we gain very little from it. I must say,”Shittu affirmed.

National Coordinator, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers Exporters Coalition, Chief Osita Chukwu Patrick expressed dissatisfaction over appointment of non professional to head maritime agencies.

Osita lamented that the industry is not meant for politicians but for professionals noting that most of the appointees are misled by the civil servants who are not in the good books of the Chief Executive Officer.

He urged government to have a rethink and appoint those that are technically sound to head such agencies, department or parastatals for effective performance.

On his part, Livinus Onwugbolu, Publisher of Pathfinder Magazine, disclosed that the 8th anniversary has the theme: “Blue Economy: The Need to Reposition Nigeria ‘s Maritime Industry to Drive National Economic Development,”

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He added, “Today, we decided to assemble our friends to tell them how far we have come and where we are going to

“The magazine is a monthly magazine to promote and project several issues in the country,” he submitted.

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