29th April, 2011
Undoubtedly anchored on his impeccable pedigree in the industry, the suspension last Tuesday of the Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho by President Goodluck Jonathan, has thrown the various Nigerian maritime industry operators into a state of shock.
A number of the operators, who spoke to P.M.NEWS, described the development as a big blow to the industry.
Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS), Dr. Alex Okwuashi, stated that the suspension of Iheanacho may be detrimental to the Nigerian maritime industry, even as he described the highly-respected master mariner as a strong voice of the industry in the Federal Executive Council.
National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, also expressed shock over the ministerâ€™s suspension, saying that Iheanachoâ€™s membership of the FEC has no doubt contributed to policy formulation in the maritime industry.
In the words of the National Executive Director, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Nigeria, Mr. Francis Ehiguese, â€œit is not a matter of the maritime industry per se because this is a national issue. From what I read from the newspapers, what he did is capable of undermining national peace and cohesion. That was what I heard, but later this morning, I also heard that he was found guilty of anti-party politics. So, when it comes to that, it has nothing to really do with the industry per se, because it is political. But I know that he is a man of knowledge, skills and I am not sure that it is his knowledge and skills of the industry that is in question, but a political problem with the government.â€
For the Head of Government and International Relations of the Nigerian Association of Licensed Customs Ship Chandlers (NALCSC), Dr. Martins Enebeli, Iheanachoâ€™s suspension is purely political and according to him, does not affect his professional status.
Enebeli noted that Iheanacho is a professional to the core, even without being a minister.
President Goodluck Jonathan had ordered that Iheanacho handed over to the Minister of Labour, Mr. Emeka Wogu, who will, in addition to his present portfolio, oversee that ministry in a statement signed last Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro.
According to the statement, â€œCaptain Iheanachoâ€™s suspension comes as a result of a number of lapses in the political leadership of the ministry traceable to his personal and official conduct.Â For now, his continued manning of the ministry is not in the interest of the nation.â€