Barring any last minute change, a new association of shipowners will be unveiled in Lagos today, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY can authoritatively reveal.
The new association named Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) is made up of some former members of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA).
It would be recalled that crisis engulfed NISA in December 2014 shortly after Niyi Labinjo emerged as President of the association.
A prominent member of the association and Chairman, 2014 Planning Committee of the annual Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), Mrs. Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, who was elected 1st Vice President of the association in its first general election held on October 24, 2014 resigned without assuming office.
Emi Membere-Otaji and Emeka Ndu, who were elected Port Harcourt and Lagos Coordinators respectively also resigned from the positions.
Former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Temisan Omatseye and CEO of Starzs Investment Group, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, who both contested the NISA presidency against Labinjo also resigned their memberships of the association.
The aggrieved NISA members resigned their positions and memberships in protest of Labinjo’s emergence as the association’s leader even as they indicated unwillingness to work with him.
The executives of NISA, however sacked Labinjo in February and appointed the association’s Vice President, Aminu Umar as Acting President.
It is believed that those who quit the association alongside other shipowners form the core membership of SOAN.
“The new association comprises of businessmen who are shipowners and operate fully in the shipping industry and not those who used to be shipowners or people who are involved in allied services.
“The association will protect the business interest of all its members and would be at the forefront of setting agenda for the government in the shipping industry,” one of the founders of the new association who does not want his name in print until after the unveiling ceremony told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
He said the SOAN has 22 members “who are core shipowners”.
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