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Stakeholders laud feats in transport industry

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By Usman Oladimeji

The ex-ministers were lauded for the transformative change in the sector.

As the tenure comes to an end for the previous administration, Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, and the Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, were lauded by stakeholders for the outstanding, transformative change and substantial achievements accomplished in the transport and maritime industry in just 10 months. Sambo and Adegoroye were appointed as of July 2022, to superintend over the transport ministry, after the resignation of the past minister, Rotimi Amaechi, who resigned to pursue a presidential bid. This recognition was shared during a weekend appreciation dinner in Lagos for the ex-ministers hosted by the League of Maritime Editors (LOME).

At the event, stakeholders highlighted triumphs in the transport and maritime sectors, such as the disbursement of the long-stalled Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) within nine weeks after approval by then-President Muhammadu. Among their many accomplishments, they noted the introduction of Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN), the expansion of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) will include maritime-related training courses, the creation of a one-stop-shop port community system to increase connectivity and efficiency, and the reintegration of ports outside of Lagos into the national system.

Decision to reinstate the cargo tracking notes is ideal.

Boss Mustapha, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the event chairman praised Sambo for his modesty and his ability to work amicably with the presidency, the legislature, the heads of agencies, and stakeholders in the transportation industry. Mustapha, who was represented by Tolu Odebiyi, the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, acknowledged the several successful initiatives completed under Sambo watch, such as the advent of trains and boats. He expressed optimism that the new administration would give Sambo the credit and recognition he deserved.

Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Emmanuel Jime also commended Sambo for his leadership, indicating that the decision to reinstate the cargo tracking note after an eight-year hiatus was an ideal instance. Jime said that the accomplishment will forever impact the course of Nigeria’s efforts to ensure the safety of its cargo and added that the council and the maritime industry as a whole would never forget it. Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), hailed the development of the Lekki deep seaport as one of the agency’s outstanding achievements during Sambo’s tenure.

Efforts by the ex-minister brought revolutionary change.

Bello-Koko further assured the ministers that NPA will continue to promote automation, refurbish port infrastructure, deepen the equipment fleet, and overall enhance efficient service delivery and customer satisfaction in order to realize the vision of transforming Nigeria’s seaports into regional centers. Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA, touted Sambo’s insight as an industry insider with extensive knowledge of the marine sector. Jamoh highlighted some of the accomplishments accomplished under Sambo’s directive, including the opening of many new zonal offices, operational boats, and clinics.

Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), acknowledged Sambo and Adegoroye for their efforts in making NRC modernization projects triumphant. The President of LOME, Timothy Okorocha, applauded Sambo’s dedication to strengthening the industry governance, capacity building, and expansion in his opening remarks. He gave credit to the previous minister for his work and efforts to bring about revolutionary change through a commitment to action rather than empty words. Okorocha praised Sambo for his commitments to addressing long-standing challenges, such as the distribution of the CVFF and the lack of capacity in the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

This great outcome was possible with stakeholders backing.

Others include the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), as well as other significant initiatives were deployed to advance the industry to its current position of prominence. In response, the transportation minister credited the sector’s stakeholders and a skilled workforce for helping him succeed during his time in office. Sambo stated that the great outcomes were possible owing to the backing and cooperation of transport sector stakeholders and the executives of agencies under the ministry.

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