The World Maritime Day(WMD) 2021 has come gone but the good and the bad memories remain like a sore thumb. It is a day set aside by International Maritime Organisation(IMO) to celebrate seafarers for their professionalism. It is not a work-free day by any stretch or a public holiday in the maritime industry.
It beats one’s imagination that while the ministers of transportation and heads of maritime agencies were observing WMD with epoch-making speeches at Eko Hotels in Lagos, the agencies remained shut down. At NIMASA there was no work. Security locked everybody out with the excuse that there was a phantom emergency. NIMASA is the most militarized agency in the sector. The leadership is always edgy and scared of even their own shadow but not with the use of public funds. At NPA, some floors were shut down. This days, in NPA is either you have fire scare or COVID-19 scare! Always now, some workers must be on the run. Is either they are pursuing something or something is after them! At Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC), it was a desertion. The usual agile security guys managed the trickle in and out of people. Thiers was at best skeletal services. Knowing that the private sector still depends heavily on public sector, it tells you how much would have been lost just that day in the sector. Is this industry cursed? Is this how this journey of a hub status will be achieved? Or, can the “war” at the Gulf of Guinea be won with motion without movement?