L/R: Deputy National president, seaport Nagaff/Chairman Anniversary Committee, Chief Afam Chukwuma, Founder Nagaff, Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam and Deputy National president Nagaff, Mr Simeon Nwaonu.
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Founder National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (Nagaff)/New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) Dr Boniface O. Aniebonam has blamed lack of foresight and poor planning as the albatross to Nigeria’s port development. Preparatory to the celebration of the 23rd. Anniversary of Nagaff which will take place tomorrow, Thursday, 22 December, 2022 at Rockview hotel Apapa-Lagos.
Dr Aniebonam speaking to Journalists at Nagaff village yesterday, said, “in the course of this journey, we discovered we were not getting satisfaction in the way business was done, in 1999 when we came on the saddle of Nagaff, Dangote was in the port and we had thought that something urgently will be done regarding the Hub Status Nigeria was looking at in West Africa but today we can see where we are. I’m happy that new sea ports are springing up but the problems still remain with us.
Continuing he said, ” we also talked about outer terminals where trucks will come to pick up cargoes when you are ready, we have some of them now but how are they being fed, what is level of operation? These are the things we advocated for 20yrs ago. We still have trucks taking over our bridges not meant for dead weights. We said roads to Apapa port should not be anything less than 8 lanes but when there’s system collapse nothing works,” Dr Aniebonam stated.
Speaking further, he informed that Nagaff came through liberation struggle and will continue to ensure that the right things are done in respect to the proper development of Nigerian ports, to ensure that the port system is not overrun by mediocrity . ” That is why Nagaff has invited 4 gubernatorial candidates from the 4 parties; NNPP, APC, PDP and the LP party to come grace the 23rd anniversary of Nagaff as guests of honour to educate the Maritime sector and Nagaff members in particular, because we have over 10,000 of us, we have the voice and we will give the direction.”
Giving reasons for the invitation of these party candidates to the event, he says, “the port system is not working and we need those people who will come and fix this. They should tell us how they will do this. Trade is the base of every economy, transportation is also key to unlocking the potentials of the Nigerian economy, we will look out for our own interests. So we shall allow them 5 minutes each to talk about the port and the entry points.”
According to him, ” we need a leader who can make the wrong decision rather than not making any decision at all, that is political will or lack of it. We need a leader that can take bold decisions, when you get the port right, you get the country right,” Dr Aniebonam reiterated.