The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside and other stakeholders in the maritime and transportation industry recently celebrated the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, over his feat in the industry in the last four years.
Also, governors of Kaduna, Mallam Nasir, el-Rufai, Dr. Obaseki of Edo State, Yobe Governor were in attendance as stakeholder took their turn to applaud the former minister.
The Chairman of the Organising Committee, Mrs Orakwusi had in her opening speech eulogised the former minister, stressing that he had shaped the maritime sector.
Orakwusi, said one thing that was remarkable was that Amaechi engaged the private sector and worked hard for great results. She also pointed out that Amaechi transformed the transport industry and left a benchmark that will be a big challenge for the next Minister of Transportation.
According to her, it was the first time the stakeholders would be honouring a former Minister of Transportation.
Kaduna State Governor, el-Rufai on his part said: “I don’t recall any minister of transportation that has achieved as much in so little time, very difficult circumstances, as Amaechi has done, Kaduna state is one of the beneficiaries of his effort because of the Abuja-Kaduna rail.”
Speaking further, Bala-Usman hailed Amaechi for the courage to appoint her first female head of the NPA against all odds
According to her, “Amaechi has showed exemplary leadership role and leadership capacity. He has led the transportation ministry in such a dynamic way that enables all the agencies maximise and have the best coming out. The minister allows us as heads of agencies to define the part, he provides the leadership that is required to guide us and I will like to commend him for what he has been able to do within the period.”
Peterside in his speech recalled his days as Commissioner of Works in Rivers under Amaechi’s administration.
He said friends see Amaechi as honest, forthright, man of vision and courage while enemies see him as too blunt.
Peterside said while he was serving as Commissioner, the former governor had ordered him to execute a road project in the state he thought was impossible, but which was accomplished about two years later in addition to other similar projects.
In the maritime sector, Peterside said Amaechi had made it clear he does not believe anything is impossible.
An elated Amaechi, in his response, was full of thanks to the organisers of the event and went down memory lane recalling his years in government, his encounter with other politicians, friends and enemies, noting that conflict of interest was why there is disagreement among politicians.