Amaechi To Anti-CTN Group: Govt. Needs Money
- CTN On Move: Jobbers Demand ‘Settlement’ As Condition
Worried by the turn of events in the country over the exhumed agitation for Biafran Republic associated with the Igbo ethnic extraction, the Presidency is said to be working on palliative measures to douse the raging tension.
There were pockets of mass agitation for the declaration of state of Biafra in some parts of the South-South and South-Eastern Nigeria over what they perceive as marginalization of the Igbos in the current Nigerian political configuration, a protest inflamed by the arrest of one Nnamdi Kanu, a director of Radio Biafra. As a result, MMS plus gathered that one of such palliative measures include the appointment of an Igbo professional to head one of the maritime parastatals. This is coming at a time President Mohammadu Buhari is said to be miffed with the performance of one of the heads of parastatals and have directed the relevant authorities to keep an eye on him and others.
Realizing that Igbos constitute major stakeholders in Nigeria’s maritime business, the President is considering the appointment of a professional from that ethnic extraction as one of the palliatives to douse the call for the actualization of Biafran nation, which implies a secession from the entity called Nigeria, which he had taken an oath to protect as a president.
Although no parastatal has been mentioned, reports indicate that there are some round pegs in square holes as heads of parastatals that have not made impact in line with their agencies’s mandate.
The nation’s maritime agencies which are under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transport are; the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron. Among these, security reports indicate that only one agency and its head has lived up to the billings of the envisioned mandate. However, this development has imported religion into the usual lobby for leadership positions.
MMS Plus gathered that the Acting Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Haruna Jauro, who has been lobbying hard to be confirmed as a substantive DG sought the intervention of Gen. Theophilus Danjuma whom we gathered has taken over the battle.
MMS Plus further gathered that Jauro’s lobby group, most of whom are from the North East geo-political zone of the country have declared that any attempt not to confirm him would be viewed as a war against the Northern minority christians.
Meanwhile the new Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has declined the request of some anti- Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) lobbyists to recommend the abolition of the reintroduced international CTN in the maritime industry.
Our source said that Amaechi, who was surprised at such request under barely one week in office, told the anti-CTN lobbyists that the Federal Government needed all the money it could get now to make enduring change in the country.
Surprisingly, while the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has struck a working understanding with the multinational shipping lines under the umbrella of Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), by raising a project team to facilitate the implementation of CTN, some maritime industry jobbers have given the NSC a condition of “settlement” without which they would leave no stone unturned to scuttle CTN operations.
MMS Plus gathered that one of the jobbers is a vocal member of the National Council of Managing Directors and Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA). This man whose name is withheld is alleged to be making a leaving in the industry through “settlements” to either support or scuttle any government project. It was also learnt that he has reached out to NSC, the facilitators of CTN for settlement but they declined.
Sources last week disclosed to MMS Plus that a media agent in the maritime industry has equally sought “settlement” as a condition for supporting the implementation of CTN. The agent who has been going through some stakeholders in the freight forwarding family, was said to have said, “They must come and settle or we scuttle it”
However, when contacted on this, the spokesman of the NSC, Mr. Ignatius Nweke, said he was not aware of such “settlement” demanded from NSC.
The overriding feelings among stakeholders in the maritime industry is that CTN is a noble initiative as envisioned especially with the assurance from the NSC that it will not attract extra charges outside already payable levies by the shipping lines.
One of the leaders of a formidable freight forwarding group, who implied anonymity last week, wondered why some stakeholders would want government to “settle” them for a national project that will guarantee security, safety of cargo and increased revenue to government when it takes place.