By Godwin Oritse
THE initiators of the newly approved national shipping line, the Maritime Professional Association (MPA) has kicked against their non-inclusion in the setting up the shipping firm threatening to take legal action against the authorities.
InÂ interview with Vanguard, the President of the association Dr Chinedu Ogbuagu said that he wrote the proposal that led to the approval of the company, adding that their exclusion from the planning and execution of the entire will lead to its failure.
The marine expert also said that more than half of the entire project in the maritime industry that were approved by the minister were proposals he wrote and sent to the ministry through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
â€œThe minister o Transport had a press conference last week amd more than half of the programmes he presented were proposed by me.
The ministry of Transport and NIMASA are at again, they have started their usual antics on the vexed question of a national shipping company.
â€œThey think itâ€™s just Nigerian politics where anything goes, but as usual they are wrong, I proposed a national carrier to them but they now think they can successfully establish it without me.
â€œThey cannot as they could not do it in 1994 when I also proposed a new carrier to replace the bankrupted NNSL and they failed woefully in setting NUL without meâ€
Ogbuagu also showed Vanguard a memorandum emanating from the office of the minister directiong the director general of NIMASA to appraise the proposal sent by the group with a view to approving it.
The memo with reference number T.4252/S.11/T3/15 and dated March 26th 2009 also directed NIMASA\â€™s chief executive to treat the matter with prompt attention.
Part of the memo reads â€œÂ Â Memorandum on the establishment of a public limited liability company to be known as Nigeria Shipping Company Plc.
â€œFurther to a memorandum on the establishment if the Nigeria Shipping Company by Messrs NDC ltd .
â€œI am directed to request you to forward your comments promptly to the ministryâ€.
The newly approved shipping firm Vanguard gathered will start with three second hand international tradingÂ vessels whose cost has been put at N5billion.
â€œThe modalities for the successful take off of this scheme are being finalized with the constitution of an inter-agency Committeeâ€ he added
Part of Ogbuaguâ€™sÂ original proposal reads â€œWe are anxious to help NIMASA to grow the supply side of maritime labour and could not wait to get started in that direction.â€œSir as you know, growth of maritime manpower could only happen with general shipping development.