Stakeholders and operators in the maritime sector have identified focused leadership to solve challenges and crisis facing the industry.

Speaking at the second transport leadership lecture with the theme ‘Leadership in the Next Level Democracy: Striking a Positive Balance in Transport Sector’, organised by Kings Communications Limited, the stakeholders said due to poor leadership, maritime industry has been given adequate attention by the government.

However, the stakeholders believed that there is need for everybody in the sector work together as if government does not exist so as to to surmount the crisis facing the industry.

The Chairman of the occasion and former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan Omateye said that the Nigerian maritime industry had been through a lot of crisis, saying that if operators come together and actually look back on how maritime and shipping industry had gone in the last few years, they should be angry with themselves enough to come together and speak with one voice. According to him, the only challenge facing the country was that Nigerians were so focused on their personal interest rather than on the national interest. However, he urged the stakeholders to start focusing on national interest as it relates to the maritime industry than to work for personal gains.

He added: “We must make the best to ensure that our children coming behind will appreciate the legacy we leave. So, whatsoever it takes and I appeal to every single one of us here in this room today, that whatever you can take no matter how small it is, let us take it for the betterment of our industry.

“To fail is not a bad thing, you can only learn from your failures and we are learning from our failures. That is why I am going to probably say, whether I like it or not, I take blame for whatever way I have been part of the failure and I apologise for that failure. But the bottom line quite simply is, I will say it the way it is, cabotage has failed, let us start from today to make cabotage work. That is what I will say, it is only when you start accepting responsibility for your failures, then, you can begin to move to make things a lot better but if you live in denial, you will die in denial.”

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