Freight forwarders under the aegis of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Monday honoured the immediate past Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello for his sterling performance during his eight years tenure in office.
Speaking at the event which was well attended by members of the foremost freight forwarders group, licensed customs agents, truckers and other industry stakeholders, founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, said given Bello’s excellent performance and track record in the industry, the federal government should consider him for a ministerial appointment.
According to Aniebonam, Bello is the most appropriate and qualified professional person to take over as the Minister of transport because of his knowledge of the industry.
“We know the Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi will not forever be the minister. Between now and 2023, he will end his tenure. So, the next person we want the government to bring is Hassan Bello because of his knowledge of the industry. We need him back because he merited the consideration of the minister of transport,” he said.
Earlier in his address, President of NAGAFF, Increase Uche, who described Bello as a detribalized Nigerian full of humility and courage said he is being celebrated for initiating, and enabling growth in the maritime industry, especially harnessing the economic potentials of the port sector.
While highlighting Bello’s achievement in the industry, Uche tasked other heads of government agencies, many of whom he said exited office with nothing to show for the good number of years they put in to take a cue from Bello’s exemplary leadership and offer their best.
He said the appointment of Bello coincided with the period in which the quality of shipping services, cargo clearance and documentation processes were fast deteriorating while the freight forwarders were at the receiving end and grossly shortchanged without any rescue.
He, however, noted that it was the intervention of the NSC under the leadership Bello that provided respite to freight forwarders till date.
“In the history of ports operation in Nigeria, Barr. Hassan Bello’s courageous efforts to bring about immeasurable growth and development of the maritime industry could be rated us the highest so far. This is why NAGAFF, after a painstaking evaluation of the past performances of other heads of government agencies, found Barr. Hassan Bello worthy of being honored and celebrated.
“He performed official duties with unswerving integrity and fearless determination. His forthrightness, humility, frank and honest attitude in relation to public matters stamps him as being destined for higher office responsibilities. Moreover, the standard he has established in the leadership of the Council is now the barometer to measure any upcoming CEO of the agencies in the maritime industry.
“It is our hope that even as he retires, we know he is not tired, our great country, which is in need of development, will find another place, now at a higher level, to utilize him, where he can deploy his wealth of experience for greater service to our nation,” he said.
Other stakeholders who took turns to eulogize Bello, were unanimous in their position that Bello offered his best to the development of the industry, hence, he should be considered for a higher position.
In his acceptance speech, Bello expressed appreciation to NAGAFF for the honour bestowed on him calling on stakeholders to give the same support to the new Executive Secretary of the Council, Emmanuel Jime to succeed.
He said Jime has what it takes to deliver in his new position, having worked at the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA).
Highlight of the occasion was the conferment of award on Bello as the grand patron of NAGAFF.