..Insists inauguration must hold as scheduled
Maritime industry guru, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori has appealed to feuding members of the Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA) to bury their differences, stressing that the new found synergy between Government and NISA, must not be jeopardized.
Ilori, who is a Lloyds Ambassador and NISA’s newly elected Publicity Secretary exclusively made the statement to the Maritime First, commending the Federal Government, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), noting that the the developing synergy between Government and NISA, if not truncated by carelessness, would ultimately result in acquisition of more ships by NISA, and creation of several jobs, for teaming Nigerians.
“The Government is presently reviewing the modalities for utilisation of the CVFF funds such that it will allow for significantly higher number of vessels to be owned by Nigerians with the potential of them being built in the country”, he said, emphasizing that in furtherance of this goal, the date of inauguration must remain sacrosanct.
“We can easily observe laudable efforts of Nigerian Government, the NIMASA and Nigerian Shipowners Association aimed at repositioning the maritime industry as an economy major player; but these may seem moribund, if prevailing development subsequent to recent government sponsored free, fair and credible elections prevails”, he warned, adding that in such event, the major casualties would be mostly the unemployed youths.
Ilori also, called attention to what he described as another “remarkable development” in the maritime administration, highlighting “a joint technical committee” between the agency and the nation’s ship owners association, stating that this has a “mandate to provide solutions to the problems facing indigenous ship ownership”.
“One of the immediate outcome would have created jobs for the vast idle Nigerian ships by ensuring they are repaired by Nigerian shipyards and comply with international best standards.
“These initiatives are unprecedented in Nigerian maritime history and the present maritime administration must be commended for their efforts through their synergy with Nigerian Shipowners Association.
“Whilst the maritime administration organised an election to the executive offices of NISA adjudged to be free, fair and credible by all the candidates and industry stakeholders, some of the presidential candidates have gone back on their words and began actions capable of destroying the government backed indigenous ship ownership body.
“Such moves if unchecked will ensure the disintegration of NISA resulting in entrenchment of domination of foreign ship operators in our maritime domain with the attendant capital flight and perpetration of joblessness of our youths”, Ilori further warned, urging all relevant stakeholders to rally round, not only the association but the entire maritime industry, he maintained, “at this stage requires urgent action that will reverse this ugly trend”.
“The inauguration of the elected executives scheduled for the 11th of November must not be delayed as the industry can not survive a vacuum in its leadership nor be seen to perpetuate selfish personal interests”, the seasoned analyst further stressed.