By DAPO OLAWUNI
The President, Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA) Dr Bashir Jamoh has inducted thirty new fellows including Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Dr George Moghalu as well as former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Ade Dosunmu.
Other prominent personalities brought onboard by CIOTA includes the three Executive Directors of NIMASA, namely; Executive Director Finance and Administration, Dr Chudi Offordile, Executive Director Cabotage Services, Victor Ochei and Executive Director Operations, Mr Shehu Ahmed.
Others are; former Commissioner of Transportation for Lagos State Government, Dr Kayode Opeifa, Permanent Secretary of Yobe State Government, Geidam Mustapha Abba, maritime lawyer, Osuala Emma Nwagbara, Akujobi Celestine, Registrar of CIOTA, Rasheed Aiyelabegan among others.
The opening ceremony of the ongoing 3-days National Transport Summit with theme; Regulating the Transport Sector in Nigeria: The State of the Art and the Years Ahead, kickstarted at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja
Speaking at the event chaired by Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the CIOTA President, Bashir Jamoh stated that the governing council of the institute deliberately inducted the highly experienced new set of fellows in order to drive the growth process of the institute.
According to Dr Jamoh who is also the Director General of NIMASA, becoming a fellow of any professional institute is not a mincemeat, adding that the inducted fellows have worked and deserved the honour.
“You will agree with me that the governing council didn’t make an ordinary choice, they must have attained certain level of achievement before they are given this fellowship, I congratulate you all and I wish you all the best.
“You have a baby which is the Chattered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria, i want you to use your wealth of experience to bring the baby to start running, the baby is crawling now, but use your knowledge, influence and experience to bring the baby which is the Institute to the highest level
“Our aim is to see that we are rubbing shoulders with the highest professional bodies globally, not continental, not regional, not national only.
This is why we are bringing this chain of experience members as fellows” he said
According to him, the CIOTA 3rd Annual National Transportation Summit is another opportunity for the professionals in the transportation field to deliberate upon the current challenges facing the nation in the sector with a view to proffer well- thought-out, meaningful and practicable solutions for policymakers and decision makers in the collective quest to make the nation’s transportation system more robust and more competitive.
He maintained that transportation is the lifewire and lifeblood of any nation’s economy.
“Transportation is everywhere and it is everything. Transportation is on the ground, whether by road or by rail; it is under the ground whether by pipelines, cables or tubes; it is on the water whether by boats or large vessels; it is under the water whether by submarines; it is in the air whether by planes. Even our bodies have been designed for transportation or how else can one explain the movement of blood and nutrients from the heart’s pumping hub to the entire parts of the human body? One word: Transportation”
He urge stakeholders to take stock nationally of all the transportation assets of Nigeria as he said CIOTA pledges to play a supportive role in this regard.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of the occasion, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi assured that the Federal Government is ready to adopt the communique of the summit as a working tool in resolving the factors inhibiting transportation system in the country.
According to him, the theme of the summit is in tune with Federal government thinking, adding that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari takes transportation as a way of driving its administration.
The Vice President informed that CIoTA plays a very critical role in the transportation sector of the economy while adding that the role of the Institute to produce transport professionals who will drive the economy from the point of view of transport and logistics is enormous, hence, he said the federal government will look up to the Institute for guidance in policy formulation and direction.
Speaking on the importance of the transport sector, Osinbajo noted that transportation is the wheel that drives the economy sector of any country while informing that transportation cannot serve its purpose unless it is available in a safe, affordable and secure environment.
The Vice President said given the quality of professionals in CIOTA, the Federal Government trusted the institute as a worthy partner in its economic recovery drive.
He listed some of the agenda implementrd so far by the Government to drive the economy to include the 186 kilometer Abuja —Kaduna Railway project commissioned in 2016 by the present Government which he said has created over 5000 employment opportunities.
He listed “The 157 kilometer Lagos -ibadan Railway project, the Kano-Maradi railway project, the Port Harcourt — Maiduguri Railway Project, Itapke-Warri the near completion of the Oshodi-Apapa Port expressway, the massive infrastructure development in the nations seaports, deep blue project, the C4i maritime domain security architecture among others ”
He also added that the appointment of Nigeria as head of Maritime Organisations for West and Central Africa (MOWCA) would further afford the country an opportunity to showcase and utilise various initiatives of government in transport sector.