2023: Prime Maritime Project Conveners To Host Presidential Candidates In Lagos
Fred Omotara, Lagos
Conveners of the Prime Maritime Project has said that it has concluded plans to engage the Presidential candidates of all political parties in Nigeria over their plans towards the nations maritime sector. The engagement is expected to commence next Tuesday in Lagos when the Presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso will be a guest of the Prime Maritime Project to tell maritime stakeholders his agenda for the maritime sector ahead of the 2023 general election.
According to the organisers of the project, the idea was borne out of the need to bring out the best candidate that can change the sad narrative of the maritime sector ahead of the new political dispensation.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, Chairman of the forum planning committee, Elder Asu Beks, lamented that the maritime industry has suffered neglect over the years despite being the second highest revenue earner to the nation and holding a whooping 91 trillion worth of resources and investment.
He said the town hall meeting was to challenge the presidential candidates on how they intend to develop the maritime sector, which will therefore serve as a guide to the stakeholders on who to vote for during the forthcoming general election.
He disclosed that industry stakeholders including shipowners, maritime lawyers, freight forwarders and haulage operators are expected to be at the event, where they will present their demand to the presidential candidates adding that no serious candidate will ignore the sector, which he said has about 15 million votes to deliver.
Also speaking, Director, Administration and Communications, Prime Maritime Project, Kingsley Anaroke said the sector has faced many years of neglect despite its huge potentials, hence the need to engage the presidential candidates.
Anaroke who frowned at the non- capturing of the maritime sector as a single contributor to the nation’s economic growth by the National Bureau of Statistics, noted that now is the time to enter a social contract with the presidential candidates on what they intend to achieve if voted for in the next general election.
In his remarks, Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarder (NAGAFF) who is also the Chairman of the NNPP Board Chairman, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, lauded the initiative just as he called on industry stakeholders to support the NNPP to address the challenges bedeviling the maritime sector and the country at large.
He said Nigeria is suffering from a system breakdown as the country has never been so divided the way it is currently. He said this was because politicians tell a lot of lies with nobody to hold them accountable and because of the level of poverty in the country, they play with the intelligence of Nigerians with bags of rice during political rallies.