By Ikenna Uwadileke
Marine Club of Nigeria (MCN) has urged the Federal Government to appoint only technocrats to head Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the maritime sector.
The President of the club, Dr. Chinedu Jideofo made the call in a statement issued on Monday and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He emphasized the importance of appointing competent people who have the capability to oversee the affairs of the country’s maritime industry.
Jideofo who pointed out that the maritime sector occupies a critical position in stimulating the country’s economy, demanded that only competent and patriotic persons be appointed to head MDAs in the sector.
According to him, the sector had been treated as a fishing ground for all comers.
“The Nigerian maritime economy was in the past treated merely as a fishing ground for all comers, persons whose only interest was to take but not give to the maritime economy and, by extension, the Nigerian economy.
“They heard there is money and much global travels in ministries, agencies and departments of the maritime economy and they lobbied to get appointments without any thought of their competency to add value to offices they lobbied for,’’ Jideofo said.
He added that the period of time heads of agencies use to learn about their offices frustrate practitioners in the sector.
“On getting appointed, they waste two or four years junketing aimlessly and claiming to learn about their new offices.
“By so doing, they are frustrating practitioners in the sector who had needed competent administrators, regulators, legislators and adjudicators,’’ Jideofo said.
He said that appointing technocrats to head the maritime sector would lead to establishment of free trade zone in all the states in the country.
Jideofo added that it would facilitate immediate and full implementation of all Nigerian-content laws and policies in Nigeria.
“Vessel turnaround time in Nigeria’s seaports will be 48 hours or less and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will become the biggest tanker owner in Africa within four years.
“And all maritime disputes occurring in Nigeria will be handled in Nigeria speedily and competently by an admiralty regime of qualified maritime arbitrators and jurists,’’ he added. (NAN)