Destination Hub: Why Nigeria’s Dream Is A Mirage- Otunba Folarin

Otunba Kunle Folarin
  •  As 50 Nigerians, deported from European countries arrive Lagos

The Chairman of the Port Consultative Committee (PCC),  Otunba Kunle Folarin today grieved that Nigeria, in spite of its dominance in population and market share, is yet to emerge as the unquestionably, preferred destination in the West and Central African sub-region.

Otunba Folarin, head of the Port’s highest advisory body indicated this at a One – day seminar on Making Nigerian Ports Preferred Destination in West and Central African Sub region, which held at the International Press Center, Apapa Lagos.

“Nigeria should be the preferred destination hub. But, the question is: have we taken adequate advantage of our natural resources? And have we taken adequate advantage of both the superstructure and the Infrastructures?” he asked, and blamed the Nigerian media, particularly the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) for not driving stakeholders in the right direction.

He tasked the media to set vibrant economic agenda by asking the right questions, even questions that would compel the stakeholders and decision makers to provide leadership, from political and social economic point of view.

“Therefore, what I expect is that MARAN will continue to provide the platform to demand for enhanced growth, by asking awkward questions, even questions that would step on toes, while driving operators energy and vision for a more rapid growth of the economy”, Otunba Folarin indicated further.

Speaking in the same vein, the Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr Taiwo Afolabi identified basic reasons, in respect of why the nation’s dream had remained a mirage, stressing that while the ports of neighbouring ports were Atlantic based, all the Nigerian ports till date were river based Ports, with attendant bottlenecks of siltation and increasing need for dredging.

Afolabi who was represented by an Executive Director, SIFAX Group, Major Ajetunmobi (rtd) also identified the problem of insecurity and multiplicity of security agencies, which combined have begun to erode serious investors confidence to put down their fortunes.

In the meantime, some 50 Nigerians were on Thursday deported from eight European countries for committing immigration-related offences.

The Nigerians were deported from Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Spain and Hungary.

Their deportation is coming barely 48 hours after another set of 40 Nigerians were deported by the Italian Government, for similar reasons.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fresh batch of deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA), Lagos at about 7.36 a.m.

The deportees, comprising of 48 males and two females, were brought back in a chartered Privileged Time aircraft, with registration number EC-L20.

DSP Joseph Alabi, spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development to NAN.

Alabi said: “this morning, we received 50 Nigerians who were brought back from Europe.

“We had three males from Switzerland; from Germany, we had seven males; from Sweden, we had four males, from Luxembourg, we had six males; from Austria, we had 18, comprising of 17 males and one female.

“From Belgium, we had only one female; from Spain, we had five males and finally from Hungary, we had six males, which makes it a total of 50,’’ he said.

Alabi said all the deportees were alleged to have committed immigration-related offences in their host countries.

Alabi said the deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.

Also on ground to receive them were officials the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

NAN gathered that the deportees were profiled by immigration authorities and were allowed to depart to their various destinations.

Additional report from Nation