A maritime expert, Chief Ugochukwu Okafor, has faulted the appointment of former Senator representing Lagos East senatorial district, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, as the Managing Director, National Inland Waterway (NIWA), saying the action is another major setback to the development of inland waterway transportation.
Okafor, who is the managing director of Maritime Supply Chain Managers Limited, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos while speaking with Business and Maritime West Africa on the appointment made by President Mohammed Buhari.
Mamora’s reported appointment was announced in a letter from the Federal Ministry of Transportation dated September 24, 2018 and with reference number: T.4316/S.63/T/111, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, said Mamora’s appointment was with immediate effect.
The letter reads: “President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has approved your appointment as the Managing Director of National Inland Waterway (NIWA) for a term of four year in the first instance and renewable for one further period of four years only in accordance with part IV of the NIWA Act CAP. N47 LRN 2014.”
According to Zakari, the appointment is with immediate effect and Mamora’d emolument and other conditions of service will be as provided in the NIWA condition.
Mamora, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was Speaker of the fourth Lagos State House of Assembly between June 2, 1999 and May 30, 2003. He was also Senator for Lagos East senatorial district between May 29, 2007 and June 6, 2011.
Reacting to the appointment, the maritime supply chain expert said appointment of a person without in-depth knowledge of the much needed inland waterway transportation development and management is a great disservice to the nation.
He said the excruciating gridlock on Lagos port access roads and the resultant congestion need urgent development of inland waterways as viable alternative to ease the economic choking situation, saying the government would have appointed somebody with needed expertise and competence, instead of pandering to political interests.
“As a novice, it will take Mamora more than 2 years to grapple with both technical and managerial difficulties of the strange environment. While agreeing that the Senator is a man of integrity, but integrity without knowledge will counter productive. You can’t control what you don’t know. You can’t manage what you don’t understand and you can’t direct people on a path you’ve not walked before,” he said.
Okafor further said that appointment of people without requisite knowledge to man vital maritime government agencies is behind the stunted growth of maritime industry, as the sorry state of the industry today is traceable to technical and managerial incompetence of people running Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration And Safety Agency (NIMASA).
He called on President Buhari to consider the interest of the nation and rescind the appointment of Mamora and replace him with somebody that can profer urgently needed solutions to our chaotic and inefficient transportation system.