By Stephen Ubbanna
In spite of the fact that May 29, 2023, is just around the corner, for President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight year-old Administration to elapse and for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and the President-elect to take over, the Katsina born Nigerian President has directed the ministers’’ to return to their office and continue to work’’.
The Nigerian President was emphatic that ‘’the ministers will work until May 29, 2023’’. Buhari, who had on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, thanked the ministers and State House staff who had worked over the last eight years, had said that he is proud that’’he and his Cabinet gave their best to Nigerians’’.
At a valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at the Presidential Villa, the President was aid to have ‘’ thanked all the ministers for their steadfastness in pursing the goals of the Administration’’, urging support for the incoming President.
Appealing to the ministers ‘’to tidy up their work and avoid last-minute rush that could compromise the good deeds they have achieved over done over the last eight, years, the outgoing President attributed all the good work and goodwill received by the Administration to God’s intervention, for the strength and for keeping them together’’.
Given the impressive performance of Muazu Jaji Sambo, an Engineer and minister of Transportation and Ademola Adegoroye, the minister of State in office, all is now set f the League of Maritime Editors, popular,LME, under the Leadership of Thimothy Okorocha- Paul, a veteran Journalist and Publisher De Press Communications Limited, has concluded arrangement to honor the two outgoing ministers of Transportation, on June 9, 2023, at Eko Hotels and Suits, in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre. The event, according to close sources was initially slated for May 26, 2023, but has to shifted to the new date because of the busy schedule of the ministers as lined up by the Presidency ahead of the May 29, 2023, handover date.
Ever since the Leadership of LME and its members made their intention known, the industry operators were said to have thrown their weight behind it, stressing that ‘’the duo deserves it’’. Only recently, Engr. Sambo, described as an untiring minister of Transportation when it comes to work in maritime circles had commissioned five enforcement boats, and four ferries, worth millions of naira, procured by Bashir Jamoh, led Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA at its Apapa operational base.
The send Forth Dinner which has become the talk of the day wherever two or three stakeholders gather, particular, getting the Presidential approval for the disbursement of the underutilised Cabotage Vessels Finance Funds, CVFF, which had risen to over $350 million and still grows on a daily basis, appears to have endeared the duo to many.
Jamoh, the Director General of NIMASA, was aid to have received much support from Engr. Sambo, since his assumption in office as the minister of Transportation in July 2022, following the resignation of Rotimi Amaechi , a former governor of Rivers state and the immediate past minister of Transportation to join the array of Presidential aspirants for the APC, ticket , for the just concluded 2023, Presidential and National Assembly elections, till date which is visible by the NIMASA helmsman achievements over within the last 10 months.
Ugwuoke, the LOME, spokesperson, had said in a Statement that ‘’the honor for the outgoing.ministers of Transportation’’, who many believe had contributed immensely to the development of the nation’s maritime sector is in’’ appreciation of their uncommon dedication to impact on the industry through hard work and dedication to duty’’. This is evident going by the indelible and’’ visible achievements by the duo, despite their ‘’short stint in office’’ which could not be matched by the achievements of any former ministers of Transportation, dead or alive.
Given the anticipated large turnout for the sends forth dinner for the two outgoing ministers of Transportation because of the caliber of the invitees coming, may have informed why the Leadership of the Leaque has made it clear that those without the Invitation Card would not be allowed into the hall. Note that signatories expected at the LOME sends Forth Dinner for Engr. Sambo, the outgoing minister of Transportation and the minister of State includes Governors Babajide Samowo-Olu, of Lagos state, Dickson Ishaku, Taraba, and Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Ondo.
Also expected at the high profile dinner for the two outgoing ministers include Abbas Njidda Tafida, the Emir of Muri in Taraba state, and Oba Adetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Odundun II, Deji of Akure, Ondo state, and captains of the nation’s maritime industry and the ministry officials. The LOME, sends forth dinner for Engr. Sambo, the minister of Transportation and Adegoroye, the minister of State, according to the President, Okorocha-Paul, would be chaired, by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Given an insider information on why the League, for the first time, chose to honour ministers of Transportation, Okorocha-Paul, who could not hide his feelings and who may have spoken the mind of members had said that Engr. Sambo, the senior minister in the ministry of Transportation , who has a mindset to deliver on his mandate has’’ focused on projects that will move the nation’s maritime sector forward’’ from the onset.
Some of the projects that were said to have been embarked upon by the agencies under the ministry with his support included‘’ ports infrastructure rehabilitation, indigenous ship owners development through the VFF. He was said to have also supported NIMASA , Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC and Maritime Academy Oron, MAN, including Nigerian Inland Waterways, NIWA, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, in the area of ‘’capacity development’’.
Indeed, the general consensus among industry operators was that ‘on assumption of office in July, 2022, he had moved ‘’to ensure ports efficiency and connectivity of the agencies under the ministry through the NSC’’. He was said to have established ‘’Port Community System’’, under a single platform.