The Managing Director of Bomarah Group, Hajia Bola Muse has said that the many woes that have befallen the country in the last sixty years of her independence could be blamed on poor leadership.
Muse who stated this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos recently said that everything that had happened to Nigeria positively or negatively in the last sixty years still boils down to leadership adding that when good leadership is enthroned in the country, every other thing will fall in place.
Narrowing it down to the maritime sector of the economy, Hajia Muse who is a licensed customs agent observed that the Nigerian maritime sector was yet to attain her height even as she noted that the sector could be likened to a case of baby trying to grow.
In her words, “In the maritime sector today, where we are supposed to reach, we have not reached there and I think that our case is like the case of a baby trying to grow. What encompasses everything is good leadership. When we have good leadership, everything will be in place. Other countries today, look at Benin Republic, they have everything in place, they have laws guiding them and today things are working for them.
“Let us forget about the issue of the closing of the border that we are talking about and the ease of doing business, are we really having ease of doing business today in Nigeria? Look at how congested our port is looking. There is no way people will not be affected when you are doing reconstruction but a lot of things had to be put in place before works begin.
“Who are the people who are supposed to be in charge? What are the things that are supposed to be put in place before the commencement of this reconstruction? If we put the right people in the right place especially communicating with the stakeholders in the industry, we will not be in this situation that we find ourselves now.
“I maintain that until we have good leadership, leadership matters in the life of a country, when you don’t have a good leader, you are nowhere. There is a lot that is wrong in the affairs of the people running the government agencies, the right people are not given the job to do.
“We have been proffering solutions but is it being effected? Until we get it right, we will not succeed and how do we get it right? It is by putting the right people in the right place.”
Hajia who is also the National Financial Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) maintained that going forward, there is the need to ensure that the issue of gridlock which is crippling businesses in and around Apapa and affecting the health of the port users should be resolved immediately adding that there is no country in the world that one would see their ports as congested as Nigeria’s.
“This is a source of revenue for the country and there is supposed to be a lot of thing in place. This is something that the government needs to look into. We know a lot of havoc this road has caused; people have lost their lives, people have lost their means of livelihood, people have lost their properties and businesses because Apapa was not like this before. A lot of people have moved out and people who have properties in Apapa cannot say I have a property in Apapa, a lot of businesses have closed down and this is not how it is supposed to be. That (decongestion of the road) is the number one priority, when we sort this out, every other thing will fall in place.
“Before we started having issue of gridlock, if you load in Apapa to Ijora here, 20ft is between N25,000 and N30,000 while 40ft was N40,000. But today, carrying a 20ft container from Apapa to Ijora is N450,000 while 40ft is N650,000. Taking a container from Ports & Cargo in Tincan to Apapa is N750,000 and when you are going up country, it is a different ball game altogether. Up country before now is between N400,000 and N450,000. Now, it is N1.8 million and who is bearing the brunt? It is the end users. That is to say that we are indirectly killing ourselves. The owner of the truck that his truck has been on the queue in the traffic to enter the port to carry load has already charged you for the number of days his truck is going to stay on the queue and when you deliver the good to the owner, coming back to drop the empty container, he has already charged you everything.
“Everything still boils down to leadership, when you have good leaders in place, everything will fall in place”, she stated.
On whether Nigerians should celebrate the independence anniversary, she said, “We need to celebrate ourselves especially in the situation we find ourselves now which nobody predicted because everybody looked up to year 2020. The celebration is good but we still have a long way to go.”
Photo: The Managing Director, Bomarah Group, Hajia Bola Muse.
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