Stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime sector on Saturday gathered at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suits to hold a colloquium in celebration of former minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi for his giant strides and contribution to the maritime sector.
DAILY TREND correspondent who attended the event reported that about nine state Governors as well as other eminent personalities from within and outside the maritime sector graced the late night ocassion.
The event was organised by the “Team Maritime Nigeria’.
The organisers said the former Minister merited the honour because of his unparalleled, unique and robust contributions to the maritime/ transportation industry in the last four years.
Some political elite and other stakeholders in the maritime industry also used the occasion to pay tribute to the former Minister and a book was launched in his honour to celebrate his superlative contributions to the agencies under the Ministry of Transportation (MoT).
Eminent personalities who graced the event included the Governors of Edo and Kaduna States, Godwin Obaseki, Nasir el-Rufai and traditional rulers and chiefs from different clans of the Niger Delta.
Also in attendance were the Managing Directors, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, Senator Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello,
Chairman, NPA Board of Directors, Mr Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye, Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Commodore Duja Emma Effedua, a shipping mogul, Engr. Greg Utonwen Ogbeifun, NIMASA’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration Dr Bashir Jamoh, representative of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and a host of several others.
Addressing over 2,000 dignitaries that graced the prestigious occasion, the Chairman, organising committee, Mrs Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi said the event was organised to illustrate the leadership quality of the former Minister who she said, brought monumental development to the maritime/ transportation sector within the shortest period of time.
Orakwusi, who is also a lawyer said the former Minister made an enviable and significant structural changes to the maritime /transportation industry.
“Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi came into the maritime and transportation industry, reshaped it and spread his wings over it like an eagle. We are honouring him today and celebrating excellence in service to our country through his stewardship in the transportation and maritime sector.
“Amaechi transformed the maritime/transportation world in the country like no other before him and left in his wake, a benchmark by which all subsequent ministers will now be measured,” Orakwusi said.
Orakwusi added that they decided to celebrate Amaechi who was accompanied to the venue by his wife “because of his unique ability to move the maritime/transportation industry from the shadow of economic dismissal of our country to becoming a major player in deciding its economic viability.”
Dr Dakuku Peterside, who kicked off the ceremony, described Amaechi as a good and benevolent leader that can be trusted by all.
He commended the ex-minister for exemplary leadership and quality service delivery. He thanked him for the provision of necessary leadership in repositioning the nation’s transportation sector and the maritime industry in particular.
In her remarks, the Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, Princess Vicky Haastrup said that Amaechi deserves the honour because he developed the maritime sector and increase its contribution to the economy.
“Amaechi added significant values to the maritime industry and the larger transportation sector.
Also, the President, Nigerian Ship Owners Association (NISA), Mr Aminu Umar gave kudos to Amaechi for the giant steps he took when he was a minister.
“Amaechi has been instrumental to a lot of achievements in the maritime industry. He brought stakeholders and the investors together to tap the potential of the maritime sector. He has enormous respect for the rule of law and always encouraging people to invest in the sector and creat jobs. We have never seen that kind of wonderful Minister. We are lucky to have him and pray that the President returns him to consolidate his achievement,” Umar said.
The Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai also saluted Amaechi for his ability to achieve much in so little time.
“Kaduna State is one of the beneficiaries of his efforts because of the Abuja-Kaduna rail,” the governor said.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman also paid tribute to the the former Minister based on his exemplary leadership role and leadership capacity.
“He led the transportation ministry in such a dynamic way that enable all the agencies to define the part, he provides the leadership that is required to guide us and Zi will like to commend him for what he has been able to do within the period,’ Usman said.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello told the crowd how benevolent and kind Rotimi Amaechi is to the people around him.
“The former Minister is an epitome of consideration. He symbolises a leader who cares and that is what galvanises those of us working with him for he is really a concerned leader. He asks personal questions about the welfare of your family and so on. He is very quick to praise but is very slow to criticise,” Bello said.
Amaechi who cut the cake and danced with his wife Judith Obiajulu was busy smiling and shook hands with dignitaries throughput the duration of the programme. He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for given him the opportunity to serve as Minister, the organisers, his wife for keeping the home front and all other dignitaries that attended the bogus event.
The dinner programme, which started around 6.00pm went late into the morning.