Maritime Industry Stakeholders, family, friends honour Rotimi Amaechi


The Book Cover
When maritime stakeholders gathered on Eko Hotels and Suits at the weekend, alongside some state governors and significant managers of the economy, they did so in honour of one man, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, the erstwhile Minister of Transportation.
The occasion was completely dedicated to recognising and appreciating Mr. Amaechi for making significant impact in the transportation sector, with remarkable contributions to the nation’s economy.

The event put together by ‘Team Maritime Nigeria’ with Barrister Margaret Orakwusi, Chairperson , Ship Owners Forum, as head of organizing committee, aimed to showcase the leadership qualities put to action by Amaechi, who many described as ‘precisely bold’ on result-oriented decisions.       

Speaking on how Amaechi was able to restructure the transportation system for obvious results in service delivery and revenue for the economy, Orakwusi said the industry remained grateful to Amaechi for a robust engagement with the private sector alongside all efforts to ensure more ease in trade procedures.

She said: “We have found a leader, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. He came into our maritime and transportation industry, reshaped it and spread his wings over it like an eagle. He hit the ground running, as is popularly said. He engaged the private sector. He brought us together and we worked together for a brilliant result. We are honouring him today and celebrating excellence in service to our country through his stewardship in the transportation and maritime sector.

“Rt. Hon. Amaechi transformed the maritime and transportation world in the country like no other before him and left in his wake, a benchmark by which all subsequent ministers will now be measured. And this is a unique occasion, the very first time a minister will be so honoured by his own. ‘Team Maritime’ is our own Oscars.

“The stakeholders came together and formed an association called ‘Team Maritime’ to celebrate excellence in the industry. And Rotimi  Amaechi has contributed immensely to the growth and modernisation of our industry. We saw him performing his duties with passion, doing everything possible to answer the call to duty and in record time. Our sleeping railway system woke up under his watch, and service started on the Abuja-Kaduna route.”

Heads of Parastals under the Transportation Ministry, who took turns to give compliments to the celebrant, extolled his quality of good judgment, even as he was acknowledged as a good manager of people and material resources, who trusts his staff to deliver quality at its best.

Speaking, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) described Amaechi as a benevolent and trusted leader who worked with a purpose and a greater national interest at heart, and specifically recognising his efforts at ensuring a more vibrant maritime sector.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman praised Amaechi for believing in gender equality  and with a broader view of recognising capacity  for getting the job done excellently, without undue biases.

“He led the transportation ministry in such a dynamic way that enabled all the agencies to define the part. He provides the leadership that is required to guide us and I will like to commend him for what he has been able to do within the period,” the NPA MD said.

On his part, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, also appreciated Amaechi for being benevolent, yet a focused leader who ensured that you got your assignment well done.

Also present were Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), the Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Rtd. Commodore Emma Effedua, and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria.

The event, which was chaired by Mr. Jim Ovia, the Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, had Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented, and other distinguished personalities including Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, and the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and Senator Orji Uzoh Kalu amongst others.

The shipping sub-sector was well represented with personalities including Shipping Mogul, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, Alhaji Aminu Umar,Dr. MkGeorge Oyung. Also in attendance were Engr. Olu Akinsoji, a former Sole Administrator of MAN, Oron, Princess Vicky Haastrup, the Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association (STOAN), Barrister Jean Chiazor Anishere, Barrister Mfon Usoro, Ms Funmi Folorunso, and Otunba Kunle Folarin, Chairman of Nigeria Ports Consultative Council. 

Amaechi, ably supported by his wife, Dame Judith Amaechi, and his kinsmen, also had in his support an array of friends who graced the occasion in his honour.  

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as minister of transportation, even as he recognised the commitment of his staff and heads of Parastals to their duties.

High point of the event was the unveiling of a book “Celebrating Amaechi.”