President-elect Buhari excites maritime industry stakeholders

Maritime industry stakeholders are excited over the triumph of General Muhammadu Buhari in the March 28, 2015 presidential polls.

In the election result announced yesterday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Buhari defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

Jonathan had called the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate yesterday to congratulate him. The president spoke with Buhari on the phone and was expected to address the nation after rounding off a meeting with his cabinet.

He also spoke with the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The March 28 election is historic because it is the first time an opposition party will unseat the central government as Buhari’s emergence yesterday put an end to the 16-year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, who spoke exclusively with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday, a few minutes after INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega declared Buhari winner of the heated election, expressed excitement with the outcome of the polls.

He described Buhari’s victory as “the result of patience and perseverance.

“And it is not a surprise either that it’s a close run between two leaders with different orientation. Here is a sitting president who is thinking in the long term and here is an incoming president who is thinking on impacting on the people in the short term,” he said.

On his expectation of the new government to be formed by Buhari on May 29, Shittu said, “All the reports of all the committees that have been piling dust, whether seen or unseen but without any action taking place should be looked into. It is not a matter of setting up further committees but they should look at previous committees.”

Shittu also expressed hope that the Buhari administration would review the implementation of the controversial national automotive policy.

Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, said Buhari’s emergence as President-elect clearly showed the desire for a different approach to governance by Nigerians.

He said, “What is happening in Nigeria is not about Buhari but a march towards sustainable democracy in Nigeria.

“It is not about Buhari, it is not about Goodluck . It is about good governance in Nigeria, it is about Nigerians becoming critically aware of their environment, economy and their well being.

“From what we have seen now, we can see that Nigerians are consciously and deliberately becoming very very interested in what happens around them. The emphasis right now should be sustainable attack on the issues of corruption.

“What should we do to stem corruption in Nigeria as the cankerworm  and what I will say to Nigeria is that it is not that Buhari is an angel but it is the perception that people have about him with an intent to really stamp out corruption in Nigeria.”

Chairman, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFF), Dr. Frank Ukor was however unhappy with the outcome of the election.

“We expected that the incumbent would have won the elections but unfortunately he lost to the opposition. PDP is protesting because there was mass rigging in the north otherwise I don’t see how an opposition will beat an incumbent,” he said.

He however called on the All Progressives Congress and the newly elected president, General Muhamadu Buhari to focus more attention on the maritime sector because of its importance to the economy.

“We expected the new President to pay attention to the maritime industry because that is the second highest revenue yielder. I hope the people there will not steal all the money,” he said.

On his part, Chairman, Igbo Maritime Forum, PTML chapter said the election, which produced the president, was credible.

He said, “I am satisfied with the conduct of the election. It is free and fair. I don’t have any reason to believe there is rigging. Politicians can say anything they want. As far as I understand, the international body said it was free and fair. We have the tendency in this country that if something is not going well, people will start saying otherwise but as far as I am concerned, the election was free and fair.”

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