Maritime stakeholders have commended the noble contributions of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) to the development of the nation’s maritime industry in the last twenty five years of its existence.
The association which is an umbrella body of accredited journalists, is an affiliate of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). In December 12, 2013, the association will clock 25 years.
Commenting on the contributions of the association, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), said MARAN has impacted positively on the maritime sector in the past 25 years of its existence.
Aniebonam said the association has successfully played the role of a watchdog in the maritime sector, saying “MARAN is like a watchdog in the port industry not as an organisation but in the reportage, a sector in the maritime industry. MARAN members have taken a responsible position trying to analyze the industry, they have been impressive. The role they played during formation of NAGAFF was high and impressive, even though there were a lot of challenges.
“When we started, greater number of MARAN members was supportive to NAGAFF and from there we take it on. MARAN has been there sometime positively and some time negatively and that is the fact that we are not perfect as human being. MARAN, as a watchdog, has extensively imparted in the maritime industry and they should be credited for that.”
Also speaking about MARAN, the president of Women in Shipping Transport Association, WISTA, Nigeria Mrs. Jean Chiazor-Anishere eulogized the association’s great work at 25.
According to Anishere, a maritime lawyer, her, “MARAN has done a lot. They have done a lot actually; we have known quite a number of them over the years. Before maritime became the bride of the industry as it were, we could tell of one or two reporters of the industry who belong to MARAN and champion the course of the industry.”
She continued, “In fact, it does not look like 25years to me, so when I heard 25 years, I was like, have they been around for that long because of the impact they have created.”
Anishere said that MARAN as a pressure group and a watchdog has brought to the doorstep of the parastatals changes that are necessary for the growth of the industry.
“MARAN has been the advocate of change to the industry. MARAN has been the bulldog of the industry as it were for the development of the industry. They are bold, unabated and uncompromising. They have helped to take our industry to the next level. The maritime industry in Nigeria has had a lot of hiccups, if you take it back to when we had the NNSL, you will see that the news have made many of us understand the activities of the past, many did not know because we did not have this present crop of MARAN then.
“If we had MARAN then it would not have lasted this long, we would have salvaged the situation and by now we would have been better for it,” she submitted.
The Apapa chapter chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Fred Ajuzie also appreciated MARAN for the good job it has done in projecting the maritime sector from an unknown brand into a global brand.
He said: “MARAN should be appreciated for trying to project the industry to the world, there are a lot of professionals on the job now and they are moving the industry forward.”