Expert Urge Maritime Stakeholders to Engage Political Leaders on Sector’s Development Blueprint
Maritime expert and Ex-President of The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has underscored the imperativeness of the maritime industry to engage constructively with key political parties across the country in order to intimate them with a clear blueprint for the development of the nation’s maritime industry.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, he said it is necessary for industry stakeholders to interface with the different political parties in order to share insight on how the sector would develop beyond the current state.
According to him, “maritime industry must take charge of their sector by engaging different political parties in other to intimate them with a clear blueprint for the growth of their business and the country at large. We must engage them with a clear blueprint on how the industry must grow, because when they know the challenges and what need to be done for the sector only then is our business secured.
“They understand their industry better than any politician and so it is good that the over 15, 000 workforce should engage with the different candidates aspiring to lead the nation. If we come together as a force and present a clear blueprint on what policy should be implemented for the industry to them, we can now have understanding going forward for the sector.”
He added that maritime players must ensure they have access to the government in order to protect their business within the country’s maritime domain.
“Take a look, Apapa as an environment is completely down in terms of business; hotels are shutting down because we have no access. When I founded NAGAFF in 1999, we wrote a special document on the need for the establishment of truck terminals when our ports space was not taken with the development of Dangote, Flour Mills. We saw it from NAGAFF angle and nobody listened for the truck terminals to service the port. I have heard now people saying shutting down Ajegunle; these are things we said how many years ago; the expansion of these roads to accommodate cargoes.
“We are suffering from it; so it is better to fight from inside than fighting from outside. We have churned out position papers, so many have been taken to court, Every Nigerian is looking forward to a new Nigeria. The maritime project, NAGAFF is bankrolling to enable them galvanized the port and they have the obligation to also provide equal opportunity to other political parties.”