By Lateef Adegbite
Barely ten months after the exit Adegboyega Oyetola from office as a former governor of Osun state, south western Nigeria, to pave way for Senator Ademola Adeleke, of the opposition People’s Democratic Party,PDP, who had had defeated him in the last July governorship pool, as Candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress , APC, in the state, the people of Aragbiji, his home Community , appears to found reason to draw closer to him.
Oyetola, the immediate past governor of the south western Osun state and who had served as a former Chief of Staff to Rauf Aregbesola, a one-time governor of the state and later minister of Interior during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration may have drawn him closer to Tinubu, the godfather of the south west, APC, members of the political class.
His appointment as the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, that was said to have been carved out from the Federal ministry of Transportation by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state may have opened the door way for the people of Aragbiji to return back to him and to make him understand that they did not abandoned him as they had organised a ‘’talk of the town’’ grand reception for him, attended by close political associates and officials of the ministry including Bashir Jamoh, OFR, Director General , Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety agency , NIMASA, and other industry operators .
The grand reception that was said to have been organised for the minister, by the people of Aragbiji Community has been described a amajor to boost to his profile and which should encourage him to deliver on his Presidential mandate .
The minister,who is determined to turn the new ministry around as a major revenue spinner for the government, next to the nation’s oil industry may have painted the town red with grand reception. A resident of the community who spoke to The Value News on phone disclosed that for years to come, the Aragbiji Community reception for Oyetola, the immediate past Osun governor of Osun, the neighbouring state to Oyo, would continue to be the talk of the town and the entire Osun state as the people had turned out in their thousands to the reception ground, amidst tight security.
The joy on the face of the minister, was written all over him as he moved about exchanging pleasantries with the signatories, including Jamoh, the NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, regarded in maritime circles as ‘’the driving force ‘’why the past and present government had developed deep interest in the blue economy project over the last three year.
Indeed, he may have won the heart of the government to create the new ministry when he noted that ‘’collaboration amongst all agencies of government and the organised private sector, OPS, as obtained in South Korea, and other maritime nations in Asia, Europe , United Kind Kingdom, UK, and the North American country of the United States, US, would ‘’accelerate harnessing the blue economy in Nigeria, the most populous country in the African Continent’’, meaning that the successes of the project would be hinged on Collaboration.
Many believe that the NIMASA boss repeated meetings with the OPS, under the auspices of Academy for maximum achievement to galvanise their support towards actualising the robust ideas behind the blue economy initiative may have encouraged the Tinubu’s administrations to create the new ministry of marine and blue economy and to appoint an experienced Administrator in the person of Oyetola, described by Jamoh as ‘’unique and timely’’ as the minister.
Already, the former Osun state governor who believes in the power of collaboration to achieve the objective of carving out the new ministry from the old ministry of Transportation, had said that given ‘’the nation’s planet’s surface , which is holding the key to the country’s sustainable economic growth, environment al reservation and technological innovation’’ , his vision in the new ministry is rooted in the responsible management and utilisation of the marine resources to the benefit of the nation’s economy ‘’.
Experts had said that the marine and blue economy if properly harnessed will contribute more than $1.5 trillion of the US, currency to the Nigerian economy growth annually. As a former governor of Osun state, he may not have seen such huge amount to run the state, even with the combination of the allocations from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fisiscal Commission, RMAFC, and the state Internally General Revenue source.
It was not surprising why industry operators had seen the Aragbiji Community grand reception for the former Osun state governor and now minister of the newly created ministry of Marines and Blue Economy as timely, noting that the Community honour encourage him to perform beyond expectations and even surpass the achievements of his predecessors who were in office.
He may have started well by putting down his feet that Nigerian needed a national carrier as a maritime nation. This is a big challenge to Jamoh, the NIMASA Director, who has a three- point agenda on assumption of office relating to Maritime Security, Maritime Safety and Ship Development, dubbed the ‘’3S’’ and his management team to kickstart facilitate the acquisition of the national carrier.