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Sambo Lauds Transport Sector CEOs, Seeks Full Implementation of CTN


Sambo in a handshake with President of The League, Okorocha

Immediate past Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo weekend appealed to relevant chief executive officers (CEOs) of the maritime sub sector of the transport economy to close rank and support the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) realize the impact of the nation’s recent re-introduced Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) by fully supporting its implementation.

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Sambo, middle, with the DG NIMSASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, Alhaja Muhammadu, daughter of immediate past president during the appreciation dinner

He notes further that the time has come for the implementation of the troubled CTN to take pre-eminence and to be up and running, even as he urged the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani to keep her eyes on the implementation and ensure the process does not lose steam.

Sambo who made above appeal while responding to comments by maritime industry stakeholders at the Appreciation Dinner organized for him and the immediate past Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye by the League of Maritime Editors (LOME) in Lagos Friday, pleaded with Ajani to ensure the CTN is effectively on stream as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu works to put in place his cabinet.

Humbled and apparently taken aback with encomiums poured on him by Nigerians and industry stakeholders for being clinical and deliberate at taking the transport sector growth and its development blueprints a notch higher under a ten months stint, which industry watchers says encapsulates a ten years work load, Sambo reminded the Permanent Secretary that in the absence of a supervising minister, she is in charge.

 “I think the Cargo Tracking Note is jinxed. I however trust you to un-jinx it. I trust you to, before the next cabinet is put in place, make sure that the Cargo Tracking Note is working. You are the acting Minister now; you can take anything to Mr. President for approval and get express approval”, he said.

Despite that the CTN is a documented official document and certification that contains detailed information about cargo vessels and its movement, including transit ports ahead of its arrival to the port for clearance in Nigeria; and before customs and other local authorities’ formalities.

However, the implementation of the policy which kicked off about ten years ago under the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) without significant success, and later under theNigerian Shippers’ Council ( NSC) has been plagued with allegations of inter-agency rivalry, policy summersault, among other  challenges.

Sambo however received presidential approval to refloat the troubled CTN after careful summation that the NSC being the ports economic regulator, is best saddled with the task. Owing however to his brief stay, the full implementation was yet to commence before vacating office following the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, under which he served as minister of transportation.

While thanking stakeholders and heads of the transport and maritime agencies for their appreciation of his tenure and achievements, Sambo noted that he couldn’t have gone far without their kind support.

“No matter how good the Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye and I were; we wouldn’t have achieved anything if not for the Permanent Secretary, Magdalene Ajani. Nigerian civil servants will respect you to the letter if you’re their boss, but they would still refuse to do your bidding if they are not interested in it.

“If there should be any accolade for whatever we achieved during a short period, the accolade should go to the head of the bureaucracy at the Ministry and that is the Permanent Secretary. A nation can only be as good as the quality of the civil service it has. The professionalism and penchant for excellence displayed by Magdalene is worth commending; but I didn’t expect less because we come from the same background where there is an unwritten code to deliver excellence.”

Earlier, NSC Executive Secretary/CEO, Hon. Emmanuel Jime applauded Sambo and the former HMOST for decisively taking up the issue of CTN, even as he lamented about its initial hiccups apparently linked to inter agencies rivalries.

“When Mu’azu Sambo came, the first thing he did as soon as he had interacted with me was to say ‘ES, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council under my watch will be given the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Note.’

“He went ahead, using everything within the political capita available to him to make sure that the Federal Executive Council approved the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Note. But not only did he ensure approval, he made certain that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is given the right of implementing the Cargo Tracking Note.

“And for us at the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, this is leadership. I would have loved to stay here and eulogize and to speak extensively on what this is going to do to our maritime space but this is not the time, it’s neither the place to do that except to say Sir, if you didn’t do anything else in the maritime space, that singular achievement that was recorded will follow you as a legacy and indeed, we at the Nigerian Shippers’ Council will never ever forget that there was a Minister Sambo Mu’azu.”

Helmsmen of other agencies including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, expressed their gratitude to Sambo and Adegoroye, even as they highlighted their individual appeals and collective official focus and determination to achieve so much, in what has generally been regarded as unprecedented.

In his welcome address, President of The League of Maritime Editors, Chief Timothy Okorocha  submitted that Sambo and Adegoroye literally changed the narrative of drive to leave the Nigeria’s maritime industry better through hard work and uncommon commitment to raise the bar across board; via improved governance system, industry capacity building and through a joint-fate work culture that did not seek to promote superior airs of who is the boss; and or appropriate the collective powers ; as witnessed hitherto.

“On behalf of the League, I wish to place it on record that Sambo and Adegoroye are the epitome of grace in leadership which also inspires and promote respect, chivalry and focus at workplace leading to efficiency and productivity. We thank you sirs, you have set a pace and standard that will take many decades to beat.

“Sambo is also on record as the first Minister to publicly acknowledge the efforts of his predecessor and declared that he would work to execute whatever was pending which he did by regularly, identifying opportunities that can be harvested to raise capacity. One of such is in the area of the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF which has stalled repeatedly close to two decades. Sambo said he was going to confront it frontally and ensure he secure approval to disburse. He accomplished it in less than nine weeks record time, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, the process is already on.

“As media practitioners, it is our duty to have our eyes fixed on the activities and development of the transport sector and its sub sectors. We hold that Alhaji Sambo and his brother Minister of State have been exceptional, we are thankful sirs and quite elated to recognize the strategic efforts they employed in moving the industry forward with emphasis on the establishment of One Stop Shop Port Community System to promote interconnectivity and efficiency”, he stated.

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