Stakeholders warn against Political Appointments to the Marine and Blue Economy Agencies

Stakeholders warn against Political Appointments to the Marine and Blue Economy Agencies 

... Demands an Integrated Framework to Keep the Blue Economy Growing  

Kathy Kyari 

Dr. Segun Musa, a former Lagos Governorship Candidate, has cautioned against appointing politicians to lead agencies and parastatals under the newly established Ministry of the Marine and Blue Economy. 

He disclosed this while delivering a lecture at the National Pathfinder Magazine's 8th anniversary celebration in Lagos, with the theme "Blue Economy - the need to reposition Nigeria's Maritime Industry to Drive National Economic Development". 

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) chieftain, Dr. Musa, asserted that the blue economy can only prosper if all essential steps are taken.

He went on to say that, regardless of whether the material provided by Maritime CEOs is accurate or not, the Minister will just take it all at its value. 

Musa advised against using the recently established Ministry as a testing ground for policies, citing the ministry's high level of technicality and the need for industry experts to lead it to efficiency.

Regarding the blue economy, he advised players to always speak the truth and said that the new ministry has not developed any policies or frameworks.

His words, ”You cannot participate in blue Economy without participating in shipping. In 1980s, 1990s, we started with shipping building/acquisition fund but people will collect the money and waste it. That was how we did not have anyone to participate.

“If you are not participating in shipping, you are not relevant in blue economy. That is why we have to look for ways to engage the government to disburse the fund so that the country can be relevant in blue economy.

“Politicians have been used to superintendent over the sector before, they all failed.

“Maritime should not be a place used to compensate politicians. We cannot continue this litmus test and expect to advance the sector.

“If you take them to the port and whatever you tell them is what they will take because they don’t have knowledge of the sector. You cannot take a marine surveyor to the port and begin to tell him what is not because he already knows what obtains.

“No serious nation will allow politicians to man agencies they don’t have knowledge of.

‘We can compensate politicians but not in a core sector like maritime because it will cause the sector to nosedive, it is where knowledgeable people are required.

“In maritime, if you don’t have the knowledge, you don’t have it. That is why I am saying transport sector should not be given to politicians,” Dr. Musa informed". He said. 

Prince Shittu Olayiwole, a former national president of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), was represented by Dr. Pius Ujubuonu also spoke at the ceremony. 

He supported Dr. Musa's argument and encouraged the government to assign disciplined and qualified people to staff Maritime Agencies.

Chief Chukwu Osita Patrick, National Coordinator of the Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition, further argued that the government should deal with transportation-related critical sectors more aggressively, particularly when it comes to policies that will propel the sector toward its goals. 

The host and publisher National Pathfinder Magazine, Livinus Onwugbolu, expressed thanks for the event's success and the attendance of participants, but he also pointed out that Nigeria's maritime industry has to be repositioned in order for the country to gain from the blue economy. 

He pointed out that effectively using Nigeria's maritime potential is essential to the blue economy's goal of shifting the country's economic direction. 
"The sector holds potentials that has not been fully utilized. Without repositioning the industry, I don't think it will be able to play the role it is expected to play," he stressed. 

He added, “Today, we decided to assemble our friends to tell them how far we have come and where we are going" 

“The magazine is a monthly magazine to promote and project several issues in the country,” he submitted

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