Last minute manouvers and the influence of the outgoing leadership may have swayed voters in favour of a retired naval officer and CEO of Global Shipping Limited, Capt. Dada Niyi Labinjo, who last week emerged as the first elected President of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA).
At the election conducted on Friday afternoon at Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos; Labinjo polled 31 votes to defeat Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisanre Omatseye.
Ogbeifun, a marine engineer and pioneer Chairman of the annual Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), polled 23 votes while Omatseye got six votes.
Labinjo is a founding member and former Secretary of the association.
Speaking during the election manifesto on Thursday, Labinjo said his administration would ensure that the Nigerian shipping industry takes its rightful place within the Nigerian economy.
“Despite Nigeria’s position as the first economy in Africa and 26th in the world due to the current rebasing, Nigerian shipowners had not been able to benefit from the market seize.
“Nigerian waters is dominated by foreigners that the share of the indegeneous shipowners are less than 10 percent.
“We will convince the government to adhere to the provisions of the Cabotage Act, the Local Content Act, the NIMASA Act to mention but a few,” Labinjo stated.
Both Ogbeifun and Omatseye congratulated Labinjo on his victory, pledging to work with him to reposition the association.
Other elected officials include Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi – first vice president, Aminu Umar – second vice president, Tunji Brown – secretary-general, Ashinwo Adebayo – assistant secretary-general and Emmanuel Ilori – publicity secretary.
Emeka Ndu was elected Lagos coordinator, Charles Amadi – Warri coordinator, Emi Membere-Otaji – Port Harcourt coordinator and Eno Williams – Calabar coordinator