…Sets agenda for him
As the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi prepares to commence his second tenure in office, the Merchant Navy Officers and Senior Staff of Water Transport has lauded his re-appointment describing it as a well deserved appointment.
The National President of the Association, Engr. Matthew Alalade who made this known in a chat with Primetime Reporters in Lagos recently said his scorecard in the last four years as the helmsman of the agency has earned him that recognition.
Alalade disclosed that during his first tenure in office which he was yet to serve out, Akpobolokemi initiated some laudable programme which he said would outlive his tenure and continue to speak volume long after he might have left the office.
According to him,” he deserves it because he carries along the maritime stakeholders. He has been doing some programmes like funding the cadets, the seafarers. I think that this is what the government saw and said he should continue”.
“During his first tenure, we had relative peace although initially, there was a storm with storm stakeholders but you can see that he weathered the storm and he listens to good advice on the way forward”.
The Merchant Navy boss also said that his effort in engaging the Nigerian Armed Forces by going into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Navy and Air Force had brought relative peace and safety on the nation’s coastal waters thereby making Nigeria a safe haven for trade and investments.
While congratulating the Director-General on his new feat, he however urged him not to relent in his effort in returning the Nigerian maritime sector to the path of glory even as he asked the stakeholders to join hands with him this time around to achieve the nation’s lofty dream of becoming the hub of West and Central Africa.
On what he would want the Director-General to focus attention more in his second tenure he said, “ he said about two months ago or so that they were going to acquire vessels for the National carrier, we want him to expedite action on it and Nigerians have been waiting for long for this especially my members, we have been waiting for this”.
“So, with this one, it will give him kudos. Let him start whether with two vessels or more, he most important thing is that he gets started”.
He advised that the proposed National Carrier should be run on the Public Private Initiative so as to avoid the mistake of the past so as not allow it go the way of the former Nigeria National Shipping line (NNSL) adding that his association would be happy to be made the watchdog for the soon coming national Carrier.
“Apart from the seafarers’ training, he should intensify efforts in other aspects of the maritime training for those who take care of seafarers, that is the Maritime Unions. We have labour training, some advanced trainings especially in this Maritime issue. He should see to it that he trains most of our senior members in this area so that there won’t be any lapses”, he said.