ByÂ Godfrey Bivbere & Gabriel Enogholase
Some maritime stakeholders have kicked against the appointment of a non-core transport professional as Minister of Transport while the appointment ofÂ Mrs. Zeiani Allison-Madueke as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, has been condemned by the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, ERA/FoN, Mr. Nnimmo Bassey, who described her appointment as unacceptable.
A chieftain of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, Prince Olayewola Shittu, said he was shocked by theÂ appointment of a non-professional in the ministry despite the clamour by maritime operators for a core industry operator to be appointment.
Also, Chairman of Indigenous Ship-Owners Association of Nigeria,Â ISAN, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, said though they were not happy that a non-professional was not made the Transport Minister he believed that the industry would still be well represented at the highest level of government.
Similarly, President of Nigerian Merchant Navy Association, NMNA, Captain Thomas Kemeverigha, said: â€œWe expected him to be the minister of transport but like everything in this country, we continue to put square pegs in round holes.â€
Bassey condemns Allison- Maduekeâ€™s appointment
BARELY after appointing Mrs. Zeiani Allison- Madueke as the Minsiter incharge of the Petroleum Resources, acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Wednesday received knocks over the appointment of former Shell director from the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth (ERA/FoN), Mr. Nnimmo Bassey who described her appointment as unacceptable.
It would be recalled that militants and some youths from the Niger Delta region protested against her appointment as the Minister for Petroleum Resources when rumour was rifed that she has been penciled to head that Ministry.
Speaking yesterday in Warri, Delta State at a Media Training on Environmental Reporting, the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Nnimmo Bassey, berated the Acting President over the appointment of the new Petroleum Minister and appealed to remove to remove her now in the interest of the petroleum industry and the nation in general.
According to Mr. Bassey,â€putting her in the Ministry of Petroleum is like selling the future of the nation to Shellâ€ just as he described her appointment as Petroleum Minister as international conspiracy to further under develop the people of the Niger Delta region.
â€œMaking a former Shell Director as the Minister of Petroleum is setting a trend that could bring up a very negative impact in this nation. Now, you cannot have this lady as good as she maybe; we are not talking about her academic qualifications, we are not talking about her competence as a Minister, but we are talking about her background, her alliances and attachment to Shell.â€
â€œWhen she took over as Minister for Works and Transport, the first thing she did was to put on Shell overall and go to Benin-Ore Highway to inspect the work; she is deeply involved in the organisation that you cannot remove Shell from her heart; she is going to do everything to ensure that Shell ideas are entrenched in the Petroleum industry and this will be putting the Niger Delta and the entire nation at risk even though she is from the Niger Delta.â€ he stated.
â€œWhen you have a mindset that is run by external impulse, then you of course, you can be sure of what the outcome will be and so this is why we are concerned; this lady could have been given any other Ministry; putting her in the Ministry of Petroleum is like selling the future of this nation to Shell and this is highly unacceptable to ERA because this is a subversion of the peopleâ€™s struggle that has gone on over the years and should be reversedâ€, he said.
Contiuing he said that ,â€It is not too late for the Acting President to change her from the Petroleum Ministry because we cannot afford to have Shell directing the Petroleum industry in this nation. Now, if you put Shell in the driving seat, Nigeria will be turned into Shell boardroom.â€
Mr. Bassey also disclosed that Nigeria was losing over 2.5bililion US Dollars annually to gas flare by multinational oil corporations in the country and called for the implementation of the laws against gas flare by the government just as he called on the government to compel the oil companies to adhere strictly to the deadline set to end gas flare in the country.