Revered shipping mogul and member, Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA), Paul Jegede has withdrawn his earlier intention to contest NISA’s Presidential seat.
Popularly called Japaul, his withdrawal from the hot race came, making the contest more exciting, just as a maritime guru, and Lloyds Ambassador, Engineer Emmanuel Ilori intensified his campaign to actualize a desire for the post of NISA National Publicity Secretary (NPS).
Speaking on this, the maritime guru, Engineer Ilori, with his immense international connections, said he was aspiring for the office, so as to ensue “that NISA is seen and accepted as a strategic partner in Nation building”.
Lamenting the present state of the association, Ilori stressed the need for members to take the leading role in job creation, within the industry.
“It is time to take control of our present and secure our future.
“And this will require integrity, dedication and global broad and deep knowledge; all of which I bring to serve you as a member of the executives, and as a Publicity Secretary”, he explained.
Highlighting that the incoming NISA executives must constructively engage the government to effect a ” national, economic transformation”, Ilori further said the body must deploy all in its arsenal, towards “making the Nigerian Shipping Industry to be recognized as the alternative to the dependence on oil”.
“You will recall the Ocean Pearl Maritime/ISAN three -day workshop on Ship Purchase and Finance that opened the Can on shipping investment. The focus on the phase out of single hull oil tankers- work In progress; and the on-going efforts on Isan Ship Repair Project through the first ever NIMASA/ISAN Joint Technical Committee”, he stated further.
He recalled the ISAN presentation at the first Presidential Maritime Summit that took their association to the seat of government and had since kept it there ever since; and of course, his various presentations and contributions at different fora, as part of his efforts on the importance of giving pride of place to indigenous shipping.
“No doubt indigenous shipping profile is on the ascent. There is also no doubt that this vital strategic industry is dominated by foreigners and their pseudo Nigerian companies to the detriment and pauperization of Nigerians.
“There is urgent need to now focus on the issues and actions that will reverse this ugly trend thus ensuring that our indigenous fleet can be gainfully employed grow profitably and be comparable with global best practice.
“I will ensure these by working to remove the bottlenecks and practices that encourage discrimination through synergy with government; in addition to supporting our indigenous owners by ensuring that they can operate efficiently and effectively through various technical support initiatives.”, Ilori concluded.
Asked if he had actually abandoned his presidential ambition, Japaul confirmed it, saying the decision was personal.
“It is a personal decision”, he stated, highlighting on the telephone, that there was not really much to it.