There is disquiet in the nation’s maritime Sector over the absence of the minister of state for Transportation, Rukayat Gbemi Saraki, in major events in the maritime and transportation sector, despite being in charge of maritime industry and its agencies.
Recall that the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, during an interactive session with maritime industry stakeholders in Lagos, in 2019, directed the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemi Saraki, to supervise the maritime industry while he busies himself with overseeing railway development.
Ameachi, who had acknowledged, in 2019, that he abandoned the maritime industry for the rail sector when he first served as transport minister from 2015 to 2019 said, the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, will be in charge of all maritime agencies while he would focus on the issue of maritime security and the Single Window project.
He said, “In my first term as minister, I completely abandoned the maritime sector to the heads of agencies. This term around, that won’t be happening again as I have instructed that the Hon. Minister of Transportation for State should personally supervise the maritime agencies, while I just oversee what is happening.
“There are two things I discussed with Mr. President that I will be focusing on in this second term as Minister, and they are maritime security and the single window project. I have assured government that by the end of 2020, we should have the single window at our maritime sector.
But, despite this statement and assurance by Amaechi, the minister of state has been conspicuously absent at events, and stakeholders, have described that as worrisome.
For instance, at NIMASA’s unveiling of wreck removal in 2021, the minister of state was absent, at the World Maritime day, 2021, she was also absent and lately at the inspection of the Lekki deep seaport by President Muhammadu Buhari, she was conspicuously absent.
Though, the reason could not be immediately ascertained, but, marítime stakeholders, have called for her involvement in activities in the maritime industry.