Sunday, March 13, 2016 5:43 am
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi recently demonsrated that he is more focused on getting results and not driving a transportation ministry with baggages that may hinder progress in the sector. At a recent forum with the various associations of
Nigerian ship owners, the minister ordered them to merge under a common umbrella. Amaechi emphasized that without the merger, he would not recognize any of the associations.
The minister gave the directive after realizing that for more than 10 years, the various associations that now exist in the industry have been operating like splinter groups with equally divided interests. The fragmentation of the body of ship owners has led to delayed progress in the sector since the operations of the various groups gave no room for necessary cooperation.
Amaechi’s directive has yielded results. Following the directive by the minister, the founding chairman of the Nigerian Shipowners Association, NISA, Isaac Jolapamo, recently convened a reconciliation meeting where the various groups met and eventually reached the decision to abide by the Minister’s order, with the formation of the Shipowners Forum.
The reconciliation meeting was attended by the representatives of NISA, led by its Acting President, Aminu Umar; African Shipowners Association, ASA, led by Temisan Omatseye and Shipowners Association of Nigeria, SOAN led by Greg Ogbeifun. The agreement reached is that henceforth, while each association retains its identity, membership and leadership, they would operate as one entity under the Shipowners Forum. It is through the Forum that the groups will now relate with government.
For over a decade, the Indigenous Shipowners Association, ISAN, which later became NISA served as the only body of indigenous ship owners.
But the association split into different groups after the maiden election held on 24 October 2014. The polarization led to 22 ship owners, with Ogbeifun at the fore, forming a new association tagged Shipowners Association of Nigeria, SOAN in April 2015.