” I feel highly humbled to be the Chairman of this occasion,”” Shittu said.
He urged MARAN not to lose focus, adding that he would join hands with the leadership of MARAN in lifting the association higher.
“We must guard the maritime sector jealously by exposing the rot in the industry,” he added.
Shittu also urged the leadership of MARAN to carry others along to overcome the tasks ahead.
The event was also spiced with lectures by guest speakers.
The first lecture which had its theme: “National Development: The Challenges and the prospects for the proper implementation of the freedom of Information Act in Nigeria”, was delivered by Mr. Emeka Okoroanyanwu, Editor Xpress Newspaper.
“Freedom of Information is the fundamental right of every Nigerian. Information is critical to national development and good governance.
“It is the lifewire of a democratic society. Without freedom of information, the people’s right to know would be infringed upon and suffers.
“The press has a constitutional responsibility to inform, educate and entertain, ” the former MARAN President said.
A former General Manager of LagosTraffic Radio, Mr. Olayinka Adagun, also gave a lecture on the Freedom of Information Act and Maritime Reporting.
“The maritime sector today faces challenges of operational inefficiencies, unpredictable operational time lag, unnecessary delays of shipment, even as stakeholders themselves find it difficult to collaborate to address these challenges through global best practices.
“It must be said that the effective implementation of the FOI Act 2011 holds the prospect of accelerated development of the Maritime industry and enhances the process of cargo clearance at the ports,” Adagun said.
A Panel of discussants comprising Dr George Ayoade, Director-General, Chartered Institute of Environmental and Public Health Management of Nigeria, Dr. Tajudeen Alao, President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners and the Representative of the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Wale Akodu, threw more light on the topics.
The event was attended by past Presidents of MARAN which included Barrister Valentino Buoro, Emmanuel Adegbe, Asu Beks, Ray Ugochukwu, and Sesan Onilemo.
Others present at the event were Mr. Olusina Thorpe, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and strategy represented by Mr Wale Akodu, Mr Muyiwa Akande, Corporate Affairs Manager of SIFAX, Mrs. Nike Sodipo, an Assistant Director, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, NUJ Lagos Council Executive Members.
Others are Mr. Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council represented by Mr Emeka Okereke, Assistant Director Legal Services, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Okey Ibeke, Publisher, Business and Maritime West Africa, and many more.
The President of MARAN Mr Anya Njoku described the event as timely.
“I am the happiest person on earth that this event is happening under my regime,” he said.
“With Leye Ajayi as the Chairman of NUJ Lagos Council, we can be sure that our voices will be heard,” Njoku said.
He tasked journalists in Lagos to support Mr. Adeleye Ajayi, describing him as a peacemaker and the fastest writer in MARAN.
On his part, Ajayi thanked dignitaries present at the occasion, describing MARAN as a big and united family.
“I can tell you that MARAN is intact in spite of the five factions of maritime journalists’ bodies.
“NUJ Lagos Council will look for a way of having an umbrella body for maritime journalists’ associations in order to be on the same page, ” he said.
Ajayi thanked MARAN for finding him worthy of the honour which he confessed caught him unawares.
The Lagos Council Chairman equally acknowledged the support of stakeholders in the industry for him to win the election.
“I thank everybody and I wish you all a safe journey back to your various homes,” .he concluded.
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