Confusion reigns over schedule of duty, divided loyalty
One Permanent Secretary, two DFAs, others
There is a pervading confusion in the old Federal Ministry of Transportation where the two Ministers of the new ministries are scavenging for relevance and funds as well as fighting over who takes over the Diphcharima building housing the ministries.
MMS Plus gathered that barely three weeks after the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola and the minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali assumed office, proper delineation of offices and parastatals is yet to take place, thereby creating confusion among members of staff of the old Transportation Ministry whose loyalty are divided already.
What has further set a stage for imminent office conflagration is the Alkali’s plan to move the Ministry of Transportation away from the building as he has directed a search for a new office. He currently occupies the office of the old Minister of State for Transportation.
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy was said to have resumed first and occupied the main office of the Minister of Transportation with ten former commissioners in Osun State where he was the Governor. They accompanied him to the ministry to take office. While observers and ministry workers are still wondering over the unprecedented invasion of the ministry by such an army of aids, Alkali is said to be feeling inconvenienced with virtually no independent staff to work with.
Meanwhile, before Oyetola embarked on working visits of some parastatals in Lagos where he toured the ports, the number of agencies that briefed the Marine and Blue Economy Minister was an indication of parastatals in his control. They include: Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA); Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA); Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC);National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA); Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN); Maritime Academy of Nigeria(MAN).
Minister of Transportation only got briefing from the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC); Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology(NITT), Zaria and the Department of Land Transport in the ministry.
So far, it was gathered that a fresh Director of Finance and Administration has been drafted from the office of Head of Service of the Federation to oversee the finances and administration of the Ministry of Transportation while both ministers share one Permanent Secretary, for now.
A source in the ministry said members of staff are confused on what could be the outcome of the creation of a new ministry from the old one but are expecting that some departments will soon be divided along the two ministries.
However, some transport and maritime industry stakeholders have called on the proponents of Blue Economy initiative to come to the aid of the Minister to help harness the touted annual blue economy revenue potentials of $1.5trillion in Nigeria, arguing that it is not enough to advocate for this green sector in glowing speeches at fora without realistic measures on actualization.
They argued that blue economy is amorphous even as a virgin sector and has a bit of it domiciled across many ministries and as such requires both intensive and extensive collaborations to make an impact.
They further asserted that former ministers of transportation never understood the scope of the ministry let alone appreciating the concept of blue economy promoted by NIMASA which may not even help the new Minister, Oyetola to have a grip of his scope of brief.