The Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has advocated for synergy among stakeholders in the aviation and maritime sectors to move the nation’s logistics supply chain management forward.
The APFFLON National President, Mr Frank Ogunojemite, made the call at the AVIMAR Summit 2019 held at the Multi-Purpose Hall, LTV 8, in Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday.
The theme of the summit is: “The Relevance of Government Agencies In The Aviation/Maritime Industry In Terms Of The Policy On Ease Of Doing Business In Nigeria”.
“Nigeria has what it takes to be one of the leading nations in the total logistics supply chain management.
“The only missing link is the necessary synergy among all the stakeholders.
“Its not mere coincidence that this summit is coming at a time when our dear country just signed into the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA),” Ogunojemite said.
He added that APFFLON saw the agreement as providing the needed platform for every freight forwarder, and indeed every stakeholder, to play in the continental arena.
The union leader said that the association would take full advantage of the African market as its operational zone.
Ogunojemite said that the summit was aimed at providing practicable policies that would aid the way business in aviation and maritime sectors were carried out.
The Keynote Speaker, Mr John Egesi, former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said that government agencies’ relevance in aviation and maritime sectors had been reduced due to corruption.
“When we are talking of government agencies, by their nature they are relevant but certain aspects of the country like corruption reduces their effectiveness.
“To the extent that this happens, they (agencies) become irrelevant to that degree whether it is airline or maritime.
“This corruption has to be redefined. It is not about stealing money, that is the cheapest part of it, it is about bringing the wrong people to head these sensitive places.
“Once the structure is corrupt, nothing good can come out of it, nothing good no matter what you do. Nothing good can come out of a system where the right people are not in the right places.
“Not only does it corrupt the system and make it ineffective and irrelevant, it also corrupts the motivation of the generation of even those working there,” Egesi said
The former NIMASA boss said that the way forward for the nation to take its leading position in aviation and maritime sectors was to look backward and do the right thing to make the agencies relevant and effective.
The Chairman of the occasion, Dr Sola Afolabi, said that the private sector ought to come together and present to the government what they want and what they could do together.
Afolabi, who noted that there were enough policies in place for the sector, said that implementation had always been the problem.
“The private sector should not wait for the government. For instance, we can help to build the roads as players in the private sector,” Afolabi said.