…Can we Cut N7 Trillion by Half?***
Maritime expert and former President, Nigerian Bar Association NBA, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, like a lone voice in the nation’s maritime wilderness, has consistently voiced his strong conviction, that Nigeria’s maritime industry can generate over N7 trillion annually and create over four million jobs over a five-year period.
Though we are convinced of the notion that no ‘Prophet may be accepted or recognised in his own domain’, we must also acknowledge the fact that Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is neither frivolous with words nor speaks out of context!
Nigeria is a project that belongs to all bona-fide citizens, except the foreigners currently being registered by the Nigerian Immigration Service. Today, they are here, and tomorrow, they may decide otherwise.
However, for those of us who are here, shouldn’t decency prevail on us all to invite the SAN, and ask him to counsel us on how this can be achieved?
No man can attain beyond his ideal dream. The Minister of Transportation is commendably worried that the Nigerian Maritime industry generates only about a hundred billion Naira, instead of about N300bn. In the same way, Agbakoba is audibly reiterating that the same industry, with its unique endowments, human capacity and other capabilities can generate about N7trillions!
Shouldn’t common sense encourage us all, to invite this man, put a few millions at his disposal, and ask him: ‘Can you teach us how to Make just N3trilion?’
We know what N7trilion can achieve. We may also be intimidated by such dream. Our capacity to contemplate such dream is capable of, unceremoniously waking us up!
So, can we just just go for less than a 50 percent cut of Agbakoba’s vision?!
No man knows it all. And the power of illumination can be unimaginably inspiring, when two good heads come together.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi himself recently, beneficially exploited it, when in his first tenure as Transportation Minister, he brought together a few Wise Men and tasked them to lift up the Maritime Academy of Nigeria!
The Ibadan High Chief, Adebayo Sarumi headed it; and the nation’s foremost shipping mogul, Engr. Greg Utonwen Ogbeifun gave all he had into it. We don’t want to mention others, and get anyone distracted! They all diligently served!
He didn’t pay them, even though a few misinformed illiterates went about talking jargons. Yet, the result has been stupendous, inspiring and overwhelming!
Today, not only has the fortunes of the Academy at Oron positively been repositioned, the prospect of its meeting its founders’ vision had never been this close or certain!
If we can do it with Oron, who says it cannot be replicated elsewhere? If the President can put together an Economic Advisory body, who says the Nigerian Maritime industry cannot put something more grandiose, but with a smaller appellation, and yet, effectively yield higher returns?
In the meantime, let us continue to ruminate on the question the Minister of Transportation, State, Gbemi Saraki asked recently: Is it all the men that got appointments from the Nigerian government that secured it on merit??
Keep praying for Nigeria!
May the President live forever!!