Recently, a Nigerian delegation led by Shipping Expert Mr Chris Ebare was at the Sub-regional launching of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in Accra Ghana.
In this interview with Godwin Oritse, Ebare stated that there are too many wrong and unqualified personnel heading maritime institutions in Nigeria. He also said thatÂ the gains of Ghana is Nigeriaâ€™s loss with regards to the ICS headquarters in Accra.
Below are excerpts
What is reaction to the ICS launch in the sub-region ?
Well I will say to God be the glory, it is something we have been looking forward to for several years because weÂ in Nigeria have fighting for for a long time for this branch to be located in Nigeria particularly when we know that in whole of Africa there is only one of such branch in South Africa.
The one after the South African Branch is the Kenya branch, we actually yearned for a branch in West Africa, and we fought relentlessly to ensure that the Instituteâ€™s Headquarters was brought to Nigeria but as you can see foe certain reasons Ghana had to be chosen Headquarters for West Africa
Do you any way feel bad that Nigeria was not chosen considering the fact it is bigger maritime nation with a bigger market than Ghana?
As a patriotic Nigerian I feel bad because I know the effort I and some the Nigerian members put to clinch this ICS headquarters because truly like you said Nigeria is far ahead of Ghana in term of maritime trade but for certain reasons we could not have because the mails I have in my system will go to show you that I had private meetings with some of the Executives of the International body but somehow Ghana was still considered.
I feel bad because I am a Nigerian, but on other hand I am happy because Nigeria and Ghana are brothers all we need do is to corporate with one and another and make the regional branch an enviable one to be emulated by others.
Will this a any way make relent in your moves to make Nigeria a branch of ICS?
Presently, I am not relenting in any way, but I must tell you this, there are procedures for any country to be made a branch of the Institute.
What we have right now in Ghana is a regional branch, Nigeria can only have a branch if and only if every thing necessary is put in place to ever get to be considered by the ICS headquarters in London.
One of the major factors they consider is the stableÂ political situation in your country, followed by ensuring that professional maritime personnel are seen to running the operations, institutions and activities in the sector.
The Institute if Chartered Shipbrokers is a very powerful institute in the World. There is no strata in the global maritime community you go that you will not feel the impact of ICS in terms of maritime education and training
Even in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the members of ICS are core officers and personnel running the IMO secretariat and making very important decisions with regards to shipping.
What in your opinion do you think Nigeria as aÂ country lost to Ghana hosting the Headquarters of the ICS in the Sub-region and what lessons are to be learnt from the outing?
Yes, the lessons to be learnt is that Nigeria should at all times learn t oÂ put its house in order, we should learn to really professionalize our various institutions because if you recall, an India professor who came to give a lecture some time said that the stunted growth in the Nigerian maritime industry is due to the fact that non professionals run theÂ industry.
If you take a look at the Nigeria maritime industry, there is dearth of professionals and the lack of these set of people has affected the growth of the industry because there are no good policies and so therefore decisions are taken by people who know next to nothing about the industry.
Professionalizing the Nigerian maritime industry is something that should not be ignored, we need to take very seriously because I have come to realize that from all indications, the non-professionals do not even want the professionals to come near them so as not disturb their corrupt way of life because when a professional is brought in they get jittery
Sometimes, these so call heads of departments travel Abroad to attend seminars and workshops and when they come back how do they use these knowledge to better the industry?
I think a time has come when we have to tell ourselves the truth .