*Afolabi, Orakwusi, Rhamallam, Others Make Governing Council Seat
Chief Adebayo Sarumi, former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), was last week appointed the new president of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS). He took over from the late former Vice-president of Nigeria, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe whose demise created a vacuum in the chamber
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA) is searching for a new Chairman, following the incumbent Chief Isaac Jolapamo’s decision to step aside. This followed an intensified move to merge NISA and Nigerian Chamber of Shipping.
Sarumi emerged the preferred choice of the chamber’s governing council which met last week since the death of their president. Other persons considered along ethnic divide of North and South West Nigeria were, Alhaji Murtala Tukur, Alhaji Tijani Rhamallam, Chief Isaac Jolapamo.
It was gathered the Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and Mr. Andrew Isichei, who has served as the vice presidents to three past presidents, had indicated interest in the position of the presidency but eye-brows were tilted to the successive dominance of the south-south region in the presidency of the chamber.
Following this, the presidency was zoned to the North and South –West, making Sarumi’s emergence possible against the prevailing opinion that a shipowner must be the president of the chamber.
The choice for Sarumi was as a result of his contributions to the maritime industry through his position as the MD of NPA and that of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NCS) as well as unblemished record especially on port development and capacity building in the country.
Mr. Isichei was unanimously returned as the vice-president of the chamber, following the decline of some candidates earlier contacted to run for the position, even as the council ratified the re-appointment of Isichei and Emerhor on the new Governing Council Board of NCS.
The new Governing Council members include: Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi; Alh. Rhamallam; Chief Jolapamo; Dr. Emi- membere – Otaji; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi.
Meanwhile, the Director General of NCS, Mrs. Ify Akerele – Anazonwu officially informed the council of her intension to quit as a result of her political ambition. She is vieying for House of Representatives position in Anambra State, while Chief Chris Asoluka announced his senatorial bid in Owerri West, Imo State. Those in attendance at the meeting were: Chief Sarumi, Olorogun Emerhor; Chief Jolapamo; Mr Emeka Ndu; Mr. Isichei; Tonye Cole; Mina Oforiokuma, among others.
In a related development, members of NISA are searching for a new Chairman for the association, following Jolapamo’s decision to quit, but he is passionate about consummating the merger talk between NISA and NCS broached while Admiral Akhigbe was the president of the chamber. This followed his discovery that a synergy of both groups could present a formidable entity and better berganing power for the industry.
As obtainable globally, most chambers of shipping are dominated by ship owners.
However, some names have been thrown up as Jolapamo’s possible successor. They are Engr. Ogbeifun, Barr. Temi Omatseye, among others.