As the Director General of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mrs. Ify Ananzonwu-Akerele contests election into the Federal House of Representatives in Anambra state, she had said her main drive is to put the Onitsha rover port into full potentials.
The DG, who is contesting under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for the Onitsha North and South federal constituency said her experience as the DG of the chamber for ten years would help her to accomplish the task, adding that it will help to trade facilitation in Onitsha and the entire South East.
She said this while addressing the press after the meeting with the board members in Lagos, last week
She said, “The potential for the port is enormous. Onitsha is like a vey big business centre and people travelling to Anambra and to the South East. The port must be put to fullest potential; that is my drive, I have been in the chamber for ten years, I have the experience and I know that the port can really help trade facilitation in the South East.”
Meanwhile, she has announced that she was stepping down as the DG of the chamber to be able to focus on her political ambition.
In her words, “I am going to the House of Representatives to represent my constituency, so this meeting was to consolidate on what I have done over the years and how to move forward and hopefully, when I get into the National Assembly, I will be able to push the maritime sector ideals forward.
“This meeting was to look at the way forward based on where we are coming from, so I gave them a report but it was so detailed that another committee has been set up to look into it,” she stated.
She stated further that purpose of the meeting was also to ensure that the chamber is well positioned to play its proper role in the scheme of things in the sector as well as in the nation.
“The aim is to play our proper role. What the president, Chief Adebayo Sarumi is saying is that Chamber of Shipping should take its former position as the rallying point for all shipping trade bodies and organizations
“All maritime trade activities once emanated from the chambers so, all we are going to do is to advocate every area that needs promotions, we will do our best to promote the activities,” she added.
Commending the DG, the Vice President of the chamber, Mr. Andy Isichei said the DG had done very well over the years as he also said the chamber would be careful in selecting the successor to the outgoing DG.
He maintained that the chamber would advertise the position in order to get a credible candidate that will fill up the vacuum.
Isichei said, “We are not here to nominate anyone but to carefully choose a successor through proper interview process. We will advertise, interview and find the proper person to fill the big shoe she left.”
According to him, experience and maturity were among the criteria the board would look out for in selecting the next DG of the chamber.
“What will also determine her successor will be someone that has the shipping industry knowledge, matured and someone who has what it takes to lead us to the next stage especially given the competence and enormous accomplishment of the former DG,” Isichei posited.
Asked of his assessment of the outgoing DG, Isichei pointed out that the board members were satisfied with her performance during her tenure.
He said through the efforts of the Akerele, the chamber has gotten a lot of recognition in the industry by harmonizing the body of the key actors in the industry even as he added that chamber is now a member of many committees set up by the government.