- As Amaechi removes managers, others over ticket racketeering at rail stations
The Federal Government has renewed the appointment of Nigerian maritime industry Number 1 career officer, and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello for another four-year tenure.
The Shippers Council had kept closed lips last week when the news first broke, until this afternoon when the Council image maker and Director, Public Relations, Ig. Nweke finally unveiled it, momentarily igniting gladness in the hearts of core stakeholders, particularly the Arrowhead of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Engr. Greg Ogbeifun.
A letter conveying the renewal dated June 9th, 2017 to the Council and signed by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Transportation, S. Zakari, stated that the Ag. President approved the renewal of Mr Hassan Bello’s appointment “for another four year tenure effective from 20th June, 2017 to 19th June, 2021 in accordance with relevant sections of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act, Cap 133, LFN 2004”.
It would be recalled that in 2013, Bello was appointed as the Executive Secretary/CEO following the expiration of tenure of Capt Adamu Biu the then Executive Secretary/CEO.
Hassan Bello is presently the only parastatal head within the maritime industry who bagged a driver’s seat, absolutely by merit; when all others got into office based on political consideration or influence.
Hassan’s dexterity and total commitment, especially in the execution of his task as a Port Regulator and the conscientious pursuit of the Trucks Terminal Parks (TTP) project have consequently proved that he is indeed a round peg in a round hole.
In the meantime, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has directed that the station managers, porters, and ticket officials at Idu and Rigasa rail stations be removed for alleged ticket racketeering at the stations.
Amaechi gave the directive while inspecting the Abuja-Kaduna rail stations on Friday in Abuja. According to the minister, the directive has become imperative following complaints of passengers over racketeering of VIP tickets at the stations. He also decried the poor maintenance of the facilities, as well as the untidy surroundings of the stations.
“I am removing the station managers in Idu and Rigasa, the porters and ticket officials will be removed let’s see if it will resolve the complaints of passengers using the rail.
“Some of them have complained on the social media, I believe that if any system fails, it is because the leaders allow it to fail and I will not allow that.
“The money we are spending monthly, is it just for diesel alone? Is it for general maintenance of all the stations and the environment, we will fix the lift within one week to ensure that passengers use it for their luggage,’’ he said.
He said that removing all these officials would put a stop to workers nonchalant attitude toward work and stop ticket racketeering in the stations. The Manager, Abuja-Kaduna Train Service, Mr Paschal Nnorli said that he had to disguise as a passenger to be able to confirm the complaints by passengers.
Nnorli said one of the portal boys was caught in the act. Newsmen report that the 11 ticket officials affected at the two stations are to be replaced, while the minister also scrapped the use of porter’s boys for carrying luggage.