The Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN), in a bid to fully leverage Nigeria’s maritime sector, which is valued at over $9 trillion, has called for the appointment of a maritime professional as the country’s next Minister of Transportation.
In a press statement, MARAN President, Mr. Godfrey Bivbere, emphasized the immense potential of Nigeria’s maritime industry to transform the nation’s economy through increased revenue generation, substantial employment opportunities, and other benefits that can be effectively harnessed with a Transport Minister who possesses a deep understanding of the sector.
Bivbere stated that: “When we consider the efficient utilization of Nigerian waterways for barging and river ports, or the transportation of passengers to achieve a balanced transport system in Nigeria, or the importance of quick turnaround times for ships at Nigerian ports and the swift evacuation of cargoes using multimodal approaches, all these critical issues have far-reaching positive or negative effects that can be addressed by a Transport Minister with a background in maritime expertise.”
The President of MARAN further highlighted that many of the challenges hindering the optimal performance of Nigerian ports and other aspects of shipping can be attributed to leadership failures stemming from the appointment of non-professionals.
During a recent maritime summit organized by MARAN, which focused on the deteriorating state of port infrastructure, one of the key recommendations emphasized the need for appointing technocrats and industry experts to lead maritime agencies, ensuring consistent development of the port sector under the guidance of competent leadership.
MARAN, Nigeria’s leading maritime journalism association, also acknowledged the positive strides made by the immediate-past Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, over the past eight months in revitalizing the nation’s seaports, inland waterways, river ports, and dry ports. The association pointed out that the former Minister possessed over three decades of work experience in the maritime sector, having begun his career at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) before advancing to the position of General Manager at the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
While expressing their well-wishes for President Tinubu’s administration, MARAN assured the presidency of their partnership and commitment to prioritize solution-based journalism to address the critical challenges faced by Nigeria’s maritime sector.