The Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture (MENA) Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has expressed its sadness over the lack of interests in its activities shown by the government agencies operating in the maritime sector.
The Chairman of the MENA Division, Engr. Navy Capt. Dominic Onabanjo who made this known in a welcome address he delivered to mark the 2014 Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Division in Lagos recently regretted that the Division as important as it was to the Maritime industry was yet to enjoy the required support from the various government agencies in the industry.
While listing the government agencies to include; the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA),Navy Capt. Onabanjo was particularly not happy with the NIMASA Director-General, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi whom he said was to be the Chief Guest of Honour for the day’s occasion but failed to put up appearance either personally or by proxy despite all the entreaties made.
According to him,” Distinguished Guests, the journey has been very rough. The challenges faced by this Division are daunting. Despite financial constraints and lack of adequate support from the public and private institutions, we are still able to accomplish some of our set plans”.
“I must state here that we are not getting the support we require from most of the agencies that has something to do with the maritime industry. We are not getting the support that we require and I am talking in terms of NIMASA, in terms of NPA and in terms of NIWA”.
“We reached out to them but the response we get is not yet satisfactory. Like this Annual Conference that we have here today, we invited the Director-General of NIMASA to this occasion as the Chief Guest. We wrote a letter to him about this occasion, we were making preparations for him to come. I was later handed over to the Public Affairs man, I don’t want to mention names, we talk on phone, he picks my calls anytime he likes, sometimes he doesn’t pick my calls”.
He regretted that after all the arrangement put in place to receive him, he failed to turn up saying that his presence at the event would have lend a lot weight and credence to the event since the event was the Division’s little way of contributing to the growth of the Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture in Nigeria”.
“What we are saying now is that the DG is not here, it is very sad. So, we feel his presence will support us because whatever we are doing here is for the growth of the Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture in Nigeria. Other countries, they have gone very far, we are just like we are starting”.
“And I don’t know, the agencies, who are they going to support if they are not going to support a group like us? So, I think this message will be delivered to them and we will see improvement from now henceforth”, Navy Capt. Onabanjo said.
He however expressed his appreciation to the members of the MENA Division for their active roles in the Division both financially and otherwise thereby promising that their contributions would not go unrewarded.