The former Nigerian leader has confirmed that he will be present to Chair the Opening Ceremony of Africa’s largest maritime event – the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2013.
Obasanjo, who gave a glimpse into his thoughts about the nation’s maritime industry last Friday when Chairman of NIMAREX 2013 Planning Committee, Barrister (Mrs) Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi led some members of the Committee on a courtesy visit to him at his Hilltop mansion residence in Abeokuta, said that he was particularly interested about how well Nigerian ship owners have fared.
The former Nigerian leader, who hosted the NIMAREX team to breakfast amidst his characteristics jokes, banters and frankness, said that his government acquired 19 ships for the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) while he was Military Head of State between 1976 and 1979.
He promised to share his thoughts on how to develop the shipping sector at the Opening Ceremony of NIMAREX 2013 on Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
Chairman of NIMAREX 2013 Planning Committee told the former President that all arrangements have been made to ensure a hitch-free event.
Onyema-Orakwusi said that the expo is a not-for-profit venture instituted to stimulate rapid development of the nation’s ailing maritime industry and “open up the industry to the rest of the world with a view to attracting foreign direct investments.”
“NIMAREX is an annual event hosted jointly by the Federal Ministry of Transport together with its various parastatals and stakeholders in the maritime industry to showcase the nation’s enormous maritime endowments to the rest of the world,” she told her host.
She said that the expo will be declared open by President Goodlcuk Jonathan on March 12, 2013, at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, while Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar; Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar; and former Africa Region Vice President of World Bank, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili, are among dignitaries expected to participate in this year’s expo.
Onyema-Orakwusi also disclosed that the theme of this year’s maritime is Nigerian Maritime: Invest Now.
No fewer than 100 local and foreign shipping and oil and gas companies will exhibit at NIMAREX 2013 with about 1,500 visitors expected at the exhibition stands of the three-day event.
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