By DAPO OLAWUNI
Maritime stakeholders at the Apapa Premier Port were full of accolades, eulogies and praises for Mrs Bolatito Funmilayo Olotu, former Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex who handed over reins of the port to her successor, Mr Charles Bamidele Okaga.
At a valedictory ceremony held at the Rockview Hotel in Apapa Lagos on Thursday for Mrs Olotu, stakeholders including Managing Director of LADOL, Dr Amy Jadesinmi, a high delegation of terminal operators including; APM Terminals, ENL Consortium, ABTL Terminal, GDNL Terminal all showered commendations on Olotu for her professionalism and promotion of trade facilitation at Apapa port.
Other stakeholders gathered at the event includes; Truck Transit Park Limited (TTP) Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Army among others.
DAILY TREND reports that Mrs Olotu was recently transferred to the NPA headquarters in Marina Lagos as the Assistant General Manager (AGM) Tariff and Billing.
Speaking at her valedictory ceremony, Dr Amy Jadesinmi said Olotu has outperformed a lot of men in her line of operations. According to her, the former port Manager is tireless and always on the forefront of promoting trade facilitation at Apapa port.
“It is very difficult for a woman to succeed in any sphere of life, I am sure that even the men would agree with me that for a woman to rise to the heights that Mrs Olotu has risen to, you have to have outperformed the men by a large margin
“For Mrs Olotu, the gap has always been wide because she has been consistent, tireless and helpful. There are times that her decisions doesn’t favor our company LADOL, but we don’t mind, because I know she is doing the right thing.
This is what we need in Nigeria and NPA” Dr Jadesinmi said
Also speaking Mr Jama Onwubuariri, Managing Director of Trucks Transit Park Limited (TTP) operators of the Electronic call-up system at the port, commended the effort that Olotu put in place in ensuring that the electronic call-up system becomes the resounding success that it is today.
Represented by TTP’s head of Operations, Mr Irabor Akonoman, the TTP boss attested that “Long before the electronic call-up system started, it has been in progress and in discussion years before the actual manifestation. All that while, Mrs Olotu has been one of the proponents and also advisor, consultant to our company, and even after commission of the call-up system, she is always there to ensure that we are on our toes”
On its part, the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) represented by its Chairman, Chief Remi Ogungbemi and it’s Secretary, Mr Bala Sanni commended Olotu’s dedication, expertise, saying that it is a testament of her exceptional abilities.
In a speech read by the AMATO Scribe, he said “We are going to be missing your legacy of hard work and dedication to the task of promoting efficiency, integrity, transparency, accountability, justice, open door policy and friendly gesture towards stakeholders in port operations.
You are always sensitive and responsive to the plight of Truckers.
“We remain grateful and appreciative for standing and fighting for Truckers in the face of extortion, intimidation and harassment by corrupt elements within and outside the port environment.
“We remain grateful to you for flagging off the Safety Sensitization campaign at our Secretariat.
The pivotal role you played in the implementation of ETO automation system that restored orderliness, sanity and conducive business environment in the Maritime Industry would always remain indelible in our minds and in the annal Maritime history and of the Nigerian Ports Authority”
The outgoing Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu in her valedictory speech said that with a strong commitment to professionalism, the LPC of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was able to win the fight against corruption, improve trade facilitation and surmounted other challenges that hindered effective business activities
in Apapa Port during her reign.
She said upon assumption of office four years ago, the challenges on ground were quite enormous but was able to overcome all with a strong commitment to place premium on professionalism.
Speaking further, she said the challenges were also surmounted by promoting personal values of integrity, hardwork, firmness, fairness, friendliness, transparency, accountability and equity.
On her achievements as Port Manager of LPC, she said she was able to improve trade facilitation in a safe, secure and customer friendly environment, zero tolerance for corruption, debt recovery, increased revenue generation, and collection, recognition of star performance of workers irrespective of cadre etc.
However, she commended the contribution of the heads of departments and entire workforce of LPC, members of trade unions, terminal operators, shipping community, government agencies, clearing agents, trucker associations, security operatives and other stakeholders in and around the Apapa maritime domain.
She charges all stakeholders to extend the same high level of collaboration and even more to her successors, Mr. Charles Bamidele Okaga.
She advised her successor to stay focused on the mandate of Federal Government as directed by Executive Management and be true to his conscience in discharging his duties.
Tin-Can Island Port Manager, Jubril Buba, said that Mrs Olotu as Port Manager has changed the working environment at the LPC and Calabar Port.
According to him, she has mentored so many people at the maritime sector, saying she mentored him to become Port Manager.