BY Stephen Ubanna
The last nine months have been full of activities for Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA. It was climaxed last October, with his appointment by the University of Por tHarcourt Authorities as the Chairman of the 10-man Board of the University Center For Logistics and Transport Studies, CELTRAS, and subsequent inauguration this week.
The appointment had been applauded from several quarters as a well-deserved honor. The UNIPORT Authorities may have seen the leadership qualities in the NIMASA Director General when he was doing his post graduate gragramme at the University Center for Logistics and Transport Studies.
Jamoh, the NIMASA Director General, according to Gladys Emmenike, the CELTRAS acting Director, who was bestored with such an honour by the University Authorities was one of the three PHD, students that had graduated from the Center since it was established in 2012.
The University Don had said that the mission of the Center includes ‘’production of qualified Professionals with adequate knowledge and practical skills to understand solve logistics and transport problems in the country’’.
The mission of the Center appears to have fitted well into the mandate of the Maritime Regulatory Agency as enshrined in its enabling Act which includes’’ maritime education’’. Indeed, the University Authorities may have been looking for an opportunity to associate with the erudite scholar with such leadership potentials.
The opportunity came with his appointment as the Director General of NIMASA, by President Muhammadu Buhari, last March. The Presidential appointment may have opened the gate way for the University Authorities to utilise the services of Gladys Emenike, the Director of the Center to reach out to him . They got it right.
Stephen Okodudu, a professor and the University acting Vice Chancellor, who could not hide his feelings at the inauguration of the Board members at the University recently had said that Jamoh was selected as the Chairman of the 10-man CELTRAS Board ‘’by virtue of his position as the Director General of NIMASA’’, stressing that the appointment ‘’bear eloquent testimony to his contributions to national development’’ .
Many believe that the University of Port Harcourt Authorities took a wise a decision to give the NIMASA Director General such an appointment as reflected in his support to fully develop the Center to achieve its mandate of Logistics and Transport studies. That much was confirmed by Okodudu, the University acting Vice Chancellor.
He cited NIMASA contributions to the Construction of a befitting office Complex for CELTRAS since he was appointed the Chairman of the Board. An elated Okodudu had said that he was impressed with the pace of the Center’s growth from a humble begging in 2012 to what it is now . When i behold the edifice being being built to house CELTRAS I am very impressed that stressing that we are benefiting from the dividends of creativity’’, the Professor had said.
Going by the University Calendar, the Jamoh led 10- man CELTRAS Board ought to have been inaugurated before now both not for the nine –month old strike of Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU, which insiders said had put it hold.
It was not surprising why the University Authorities which did not want the inauguration of the Board to extend to 2021, had to take advantage of the call off the strike last Wednesday by the ASUU Leadership after a successful Negotiation with the Chris Ngige, a former governor of Anmbara state and now minister of Labour and Employment to quickly to inaugurate the Board without further delay.
The UNIPORT Authorities may have selected other tested hands in the nation’s Logiistics and Transport sector that had to be in the Jamoh led Board of CELTRAS . A Statement by Philip Kaynet, a Deputy Director, and Head of NIMASA, Corporate Communications, who gave out the names of the other members of the Board which he said included a Representative of the minister of Transportation, Representatives of Rivers and Delta states Commissioners of Transport, and Representative of the Corps Marshall/CEO, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC.
Others are the Director , Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Nigeria,, Director General, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences , acting Director, CELTRAS, of the University and the Managing Director/ CEO, Delta Marine Lime. ‘’It was a well studded team’’, a maritime analyst remarked.
According to an informed source, the CELTRAS Board have a ‘’responsibility of identifying and developing strategies for the Center’s growth , ensure effective and mutually beneficial relationship with the government and the industry stakeholders.
Aware of the enormous task ahead of the Board, Jamoh, who is described in maritime circles as a man of action , and who’’ felt honoured by the appointment’’, has promised’’ to lead the great team towards the accomplishment of the noble mission and objectives of CELTRAS. He may have been encouraged to issue a policy Statement : We will prioritise maritime education and Professionalism in the transport sector. He may have given his words that NIMASA will work hand-in hand with the governing Board of the UNIPORT CELTRAS to achieve its goals. Hear him: we will ensure that we produce Professionals and encourage research works towards development of the transportation sector.
Jamoh’s life, who many believe begins and ends with Logistics and transportation, had told the dignitaries who had gathered at the University Institute Petroleum Studies Auditorium, who included both Academic and Non –Academic Staff that ‘’transportation is life and life is transportation’’.
He may have gladdened the heart of Okodudu, the University Vice Chancellor and the Staff when he assured that the CELTRAS Board under his close watch will do everything within its capacity ‘’to surpass the University target and intention of establishing the Center.
With the inauguration of the CELTRAS Board at a time the Katsina state born Nigerian President is doing everything possible to improve and expand the country’s transport infrastructure, may have informed why the CETRAS Board Chairman and Director General , NIMASA, had said that the Center had already had ’’its work cut out’’.
He posited that without Professional transporters in the nation’s transport sector,’’ the infrastructure will continue to dillapidate’’.