By Our Reporter
Organizers of the maritime stakeholders parley with the Presidential Candidate of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso, on Wednesday said that they are seeking a social contract with all the political parties on the development of the maritime sector on becoming victorious at the polls in the forthcoming general election.
The organizers said that apart from Kwakwanso, Presidential candidates of other parties have been approached to come and address the maritime stakeholders on their maritime agenda if voted into office in 2023.
At a briefing with newsmen, Mr Asu Beks, Ray Ugochukwu and Kingsley Anaroke said that considering the huge potentials in the maritime sector, it was important to get a commitment from the candidates on how they intend to develop the sector as a guide to stakeholders on who to vote for during the 2023.
Beks who described the idea of getting the presidential candidates to interface with maritime industry stakeholders as novel said that no serious candidate will ignore the sector which has about 15 million votes to deliver.
He said that the Townhall meeting was to challenge the parties to have an agenda for the development of the sector.
Beks explained that the choice of the NNPP Presidential candidate as the first for the Townhall meeting was because of the background of the party which has a strong freight forwarders’ backing.
He said that the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF(, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam is also the founder of NNPP.
He disclosed that the group has reached out to other parties for similar Townwhall meeting.
Ray Ugochukwu said there will be a demand from all the industry stakeholders to be presented to each of the presidential candidates during any Townhall meeting.
Ugochukwu added that various sections of the maritime industry, including freight forwarders, importers, exporters, truckers, shipping companies, terminal operators, barge operators, among others are expected to articulate and present their demand to the presidential candidates.
Kingsley Anaroke said this was the time to hear from the presidential candidates on what they intend to offer to the industry if elected.
According to him, the sector has been so much neglected despite the potential, adding that this was why the Townhall meeting becomes crucial.
“The Townhall meeting is intended is to strike a social contract between the presidential candidates and the maritime industry stakeholders. It is also to expose the opportunities in the maritime industry to the parties”, he said.
The Founder of NAGAFF who is also the Chairman Board of the NNPP, Dr. Aniebonam, said the Townhall meeting was imperative.
Describing the NNPP as having come a long way with 21 years of history and ranking with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Aniebonam said the Kwakwanso has the interest of Nigerians and indeed the maritime industry in his heart.
He said that the party was ready to take responsibility and engage Nigerians, adding that it was unfortunate that before now politicians did not do this.
Aniebonam said the situation was for politicians to tell a lot of lies with nobody holding them accountable, adding that because of poverty they took Nigerians for a ride.
He said Nigeria has been suffering a system breakdown as the country has never been so much divided the way it is currently.
He said, “NNPP is a child of circumstance based on what we have witnessed…Everyone is looking forward to NNPP and we have the name and what it takes to deliver. It is about restructuring Nigeria. Kwakwanso will be open to all when he becomes President. Kwakwanso is a special breed to lead Nigeria”.
The townhall meeting is coming up on Tuesday, August 23, at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.