Pic:Barr. Margaret Onyenma Orakwusi
*Express shock over her sudden demise
By Frank Odinukaeze
Once again,the Maritime Industry has been thrown into mourning following the sudden demise of a very strong voice in the industry,Barrister( Ms) Margaret Onyenma Orakwusi,who passed on on Friday, April 28, after a brief illness in Lagos.
The Minister of Transportation,Engr Mu’ azu Jaji Sambo expressed shock over the sudden death of the former chairman of the Nigerian Fishing Trawlers Owners Association (NIFTOA).
The minister, according to a statement on Sunday,made available to TodayNews described the late Onyema-Orakwusi as a “jewel” who had a strong voice in the maritime industry at home and abroad.
Sambo said , “I received with shock, in the early hours of Saturday 29th April 2023, the passing of Chief (Ms) Barrister Margaret Nkem Onyema-Oriakwusi, a jewel in our nation’s maritime industry and a passionate voice among maritime practitioners at home and abroad.
“While we mourn the loss of a jewel, a mother and an amazon, we pay tributes to her and celebrate a life well-lived.
“Her veritable contributions to the nation’s maritime growth, particularly in the trawler business, among many others are worthy of mention.
“Her highly cerebral views, passionate and endearing work ethic stands her out among her peers, and this we admire.
May the Almighty God grant her family and the maritime industry the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
“May her legacies endure, her memories cherished and her soul rest in perfect peace. Adieu!”
Meanwhile,the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr.Bello-Koko in a statement on the official Twitter handle of the authority, noted that the contribution of Orakwusi to the nation’s Marítime sector are immeasurable.
“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of the Authority, we condole with the entire Orakwusi family on the demise of an inspirational figure in the field of Maritime Law. Throughout her distinguished career, Mrs Orakwusi made significant contributions to the maritime industry, particularly in the area of legal expertise.”
“She was widely recognised as an authority on maritime law and her knowledge and skills will remain a reservoir of knowledge for the industry. Her path-finding contributions to the field of maritime law are immeasurable. Mrs Orakwusi was a true expert in her field, possessing a deep knowledge and uncommon understanding of the complex legal issues that arise in the maritime industry.”
“She was a fierce advocate for equal opportunity. In addition to her legal achievements, Barrister Orakwusi was also a passionate advocate for the advancement of women in the workplace. She mentored and inspired countless young women, helping them to realise their full potential.”
“Orakwusi’s legacy will also live on in the memories of the countless lives she touched through her philanthropy. She will be remembered not only for her remarkable achievements, but also for her kindness, generosity, and compassion.”
“Her contributions to the maritime industry will remain indelible in the annals of the Nigerian Ports Authority. May her impactful soul rest in peace.” Bello Koko remarked.
On his part, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh noted that he is still in shock over the demise of Ship-Owners Forum Chairman, Margaret Orakwusi.
According to a statement issued , on his personal Twitter handle on Sunday, the NIMASA DG described the late Ship-owners Forum Chairman as a “sister, supporter and friend”.
In a very emotional tweet, Dr. Bashir Jamoh said, “The maritime industry has lost a colossus, a genuine and selfless soul.
“I have lost a sister, staunch supporter and friend. I am in shock, but God knows best. “Rest in peace, Barrister Margaret Orakwusi, Nigeria’s Icon of Fisheries. I extend my condolences to the Orakwusi family.”