Apparently to disabuse the minds of critics on the level of the government’s involvement in the biggest Maritime Expo going by President Goodluck Jonathan’s absence at the event for the fourth time running, a maritime lawyer, Barr. Emeka Akabogu has said that the President’s absence did not in anyway translate to the lack of government’s commitment to the event.
Akabogu who stated this in an interview with newsmen during the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Maritime Expo NIMAREX 2014n at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island,Lagos disclosed that the President was billed to personally declare the event open and that he was personally represented by the Honourable Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar underscored the fact of government involvement to the event.
He observed that for the President to send an official of the government who is not below the rank of a Minister showed commitment on the part of the government.
“The President is specially represented by the Minister of Transport, so I wouldn’t buy that, I would rather think that there is enough commitment shown by the president”m
“Of course we know that there is a lot of activities going on in the government but I wouldn’t say that the President’s absence here does not show commitment. He has other engagements but at least, he is being represented by a top level official of the federal government which is the Minister”, Akabogu said.
On the Nigerian Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) he recounted the gains of the even so far to include,the promotion of the Nigerian Maritime industry and an increase investment within the industry for the purpose of ensuring that the entire value chain in the Maritime industry was deepened.
He further revealed that the Expo was at creating a platform where different stakeholders in the industry through the exhibition showcase their products and services and also through the conferences focus on the issues which are at the heart of the everyday Maritime activities and the challenges that confronts the operators with a view to solving them.
He further hinted that NIMAREX had led to an increase awareness thus bringing together the service providers, the people, the stakeholders , the government, the regulators and the equipment suppliers under one roof which hitherto would have been an uphill task without the NIMAREX platform thus reducing the cost for the stakeholders.
He debunked the rumour making the round that the last year edition’s communique had not been issued not to talk of being implemented, saying that to the best of his knowledge, a communique was issued after the last edition only that the government had not been able to commence action on them.
He therefore called for more action on the part of the government as well as the private sector to show more commitment to the industry by ensuring that the communique arising from such a big event would be implemented for the development of the industry in particular and the Nigerian economy in general.