The Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Dr. Rabiu Kwakwanso, criticized the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday in Lagos and accused them of bad administration.
At a Town Hall meeting with maritime sector stakeholders hosted by the Prime Maritime Project at the Sheraton Hotel, Kwakwanso, a guest, asserted that both parties have caused Nigerians enormous economic misery.
He added that both parties have visited Nigerians with unacceptable level of insecurity ever imagined and have failed to provide qualitative and competent leadership that is direly needed to steer the ship of the Nigerian nation to unity and prosperity.
According to the NNPP Presidential Flag-bearer, his party wouldn’t have been seeking to lead the country If these failures are not there, and expectations of Nigerians had been met.
“Suffice it to say that NNPP, as a party, has its blueprint for the economy for which maritime and transport logistics are incorporated. You are all aware that I was a founding member of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC), the two parties that governed the country in the last 23 years.
“I decided to make the sacrifice of doing away with both parties because both of them have derailed from the original vision set forth for them. Both of them have failed woefully in putting Nigeria and Nigerians first.
“Both of them have brought untold economic hardship to Nigerians. Both of them have visited Nigerians with unacceptable level of insecurity ever imagined. And both of them have failed to provide qualitative and competent leadership that is direly needed to steer the ship of the Nigerian nation to unity and prosperity.
“If these failures are not there, if the expectations of Nigerians had been met, if the leaders are competent, patriotic and sincere, we would not have been here today”
Kwakwanso, who pointed out that past leaders rarely plan for the future, asserted that “A port system originally designed for a population of less than 50 million people in the 1950s with less than 2.0 million cargo throughput has remained almost the same for more than 200 million population in 2022 When a country’s population is increasing at geometric progression and port infrastructure remains static, the resultant effect is chaos. To me, that is the cause of the Ijora Bridge debacle and other issues”.
Informing that he is aware of most of the challenges facing the Maritime Sector presently, he said so many things have gone wrong with the industry.
“I can still remember the days of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) with its beautiful ships flying Nigeria’s flag across the globe! Why did it die? Why do we not have a replacement as the giant of Africa? What has become of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)? Why has it not been disbursed to beneficiaries? From my little knowledge of the sector, a lot of questions are begging for answers”, he added.
He identified other challenges festering the industry to include congestion on port access roads in Apapa, inefficiency and effectiveness of the Customs and other regulatory agencies, observed high level corruption in the system, ineffective border checks and control among others.
Giving reasons for the meeting, the operating officer, Prime Maritime Project Elder Asu Beks remarked that successive adminstrations have continued to undermine the vast potentials of the Maritime industry inspite the fact that the sector is the most resourceful after oil and Gas.
Aside from being the gateway to the nation’s economy, Beks said the net worth of the Sector is estimated at about N91 trillion.
Also speaking at the occasion, the founder of National Association of Government Approved Frieght Forwarders (NAGAFF) and chairman BOT New Peoples Party Dr. Boniface Aniebonam noted that there is a system collapse in the country, adding that Nigerians have suffered so much.
Stressing that the frustration is so much, Aniebonam said this is not the time to blame anybody but to change the system and get a new order.
Other speakers at the event include a frontline freight forwarder Otunba Kunle Folarin, Chairman of NNPP Prof Rufai Alkali and Prof. Bamidele Badejo.