By Sabastine Mbah
One of the first distinctiveness of a leader is his/her ground-breaking competence which will enable such a person deploy modern, far reaching and self- sustainable solutions in resolving issues. Such people in order to ensure that their names are still whispered long after they are gone come up with an initiative that provides leverage for majority of the masses to truly experience the impact of such innovation that they want to entrench. They make it so compelling, friendly, cheaper and easy to use such that whatever that initiative is addressing or intends to replace will never be felt.
Beyond this, are myriad of qualities which are expected of a leader who truly wants to right the wrongs bedeviling the society especially one as complex as Nigeria. A country as old as Nigeria yet with little or nothing to show for the abundant wealth that mother earth has blessed her with should at this age demand nothing less of the best. As a matter of necessity and for the continuous existence of our beloved Nigeria, all of our focus should be channeled on getting it right this time around if ever there is a hope to take a leap from where we have been trapped for decades. This should be the turning point for Nigerians, the last supper and the final decision-making hour for a new dawn.
In making such decision, the first question we must ask ourselves is: If the favoured son(as made to believe) of President Muhammedu Buhari, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi is the personality to right the many wrongs which he co-authored? We must amplify our torchlight to the very door steps of what qualifies one as a leader and see how the former minister of transportation fairs in that regards.
Amaechi as a minister can be seen to have performed below average. On is assumption of office as the Minister of Transportation and Aviation in November, 2015; it took him over two years to get the Abuja-Kaduna rail functional even though that every major and technical job required by that rail line had been extensively done by the previous administration. Even at that it, has been from one problem to another including sales of rail tickets, insecurity right from the stations through the line. The former Minister’s inability to come up with innovative ways to arrest the layers of problems associated with the transport sector are why many Nigerians, including this writer are doubtful of his competence to managing an heterogeneous and complex society as Nigeria. The former Minister is known for hurriedly doing things haphazardly just to claim low-priced encomiums and accolades at the expense of quality and durability.
When in 2017 from March 8 to April 19 that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was closed temporally for repair works to be carried out on the Airports’ runway, the Minister displayed one of his highest level of incompetence and what stakeholders in the road transport sector considered waste of tax payers’ money and an avenue for embezzlement? The Minister awarded contract to the tune of billions to Chisco Transport Company to convey passengers from Kaduna to Abuja. A former Manager of Trade Union Congress Transport and Investment, Emmanuel Akpowowo, decried that and argued that instead of the Minister using such huge amount to settle his cronies, he could have gotten new buses and set up a government assisted transport scheme, such that even after the repairs, the scheme will still be running and jobs will be created. He argued that the Minister is either bereft of ideas or is just looking for ways to siphon money. Among all the mode of transportations which are directly under the supervision of the Minister, he never paid a singular attention to road transport which majority of Nigerians use. As a matter of fact, Amaechi’s neglect of the Road Transport mode is a clear indication of where his interest and priority lie- a place of self aggrandizement and satisfying the ruling class. When the repair works commenced the then Minister ensured that there was adequate security less than 10km along the Abuja – Kaduna expressway till one gets to the Kaduna Airport.
The Minister since inception and until his resignation did not and could not really boast of any significant project executed compared to the gigantic funds the Ministry expended, so far.
Join me next week as we assess the performance of the former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.