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In defense of Dr. Mobereola’s appointment as NIMASA DG: A comprehensive perspective


By Prince Segun Obayendo


CITIZENS COMPASS– The recent appointment of Dr. Mobereola as the DG of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has sparked debate and raised concerns about the leadership dynamics within the agency. However, it is essential to evaluate Dr. Mobereola’s qualifications and track record objectively to understand why his appointment is a step in the right direction.

Dr. Mobereola’s tenure as DG follows a historical journey of NIMASA leadership, marked by various eminent professionals beginning with Bassey Ekong, the first DG of the then National Maritime Authority( NMA) with John Egesi, 1999, Ferdinand Agu, who had the fortune of having the Cabotage Act passed during his tenure and Temi Omatseye, 2009, each leaving their mark on the agency’s trajectory.

Their legacies, alongside the more recent tenures of Dr. Ade Dosunmu from 2007, Patrick Akpobolokemi from 2010, Barr, Mfon Usoro, from 2016, the first and only female DG of the agency till date and Dakuku Peterside from 2020, underscore the diverse backgrounds and experiences that have shaped NIMASA’s evolution over the years. Of course, not to forget the immediate past DG, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who notably performed excellently well during his tenure, Dr. Mobereola’s appointment holds promise for continued growth and progress under his leadership.

Dr. Mobereola’s credentials speak volumes about his expertise and experience in the field of transportation economics and management. Holding a Ph.D. and an M.Sc in Transport Economics from the University of Wales, United Kingdom, Dr. Mobereola is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead a regulatory agency like NIMASA effectively. Furthermore, his fellowship with the Chartered Institute of Transport, both in England and Nigeria, underscores his commitment to professional excellence and continuous learning in the field of transportation.

Critics of Dr. Mobereola’s appointment have cited concerns about the need for leadership stability competence of appointment within NIMASA. However, it is crucial to recognize that Dr. Mobereola’s appointment is based on merit and his proven track record of success in the transportation sector which is irrespective of the dominant sector he had hitherto operated from.

Dr. Mobereola’s previous roles as the Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos State demonstrate his hands-on experience in managing transportation systems and implementing policy initiatives. His tenure at LAMATA was marked by significant achievements in improving public transportation infrastructure and enhancing mobility in Lagos State, earning him recognition as a visionary leader in the transportation sector.

Moreover, Dr. Mobereola’s experience in the private sector, including his roles as Deputy Managing Director at AFM Consulting Plc, London, and Senior Economist at British Petroleum Shipping Limited, London, provides him with a well-rounded perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the maritime industry. His exposure to global best practices and industry standards will undoubtedly bring fresh insights and innovative solutions to NIMASA’s operations.

What is of utmost importance in our quest for nation building is to recognise that effective leadership transcends specific industry expertise. Dr. Mobereola’s background in transport economics and management equips him with a strong foundation in logistics, operations, and regulatory frameworks—skills that are highly relevant to the maritime industry. Similarly , by his antecedents, it has been established that his leadership style emphasises collaboration to harness diverse perspectives, sound stakeholder engagement to forge partnerships, and consensus-building—a critical approach in addressing the multifaceted challenges facing the maritime industry.

In today’s interconnected world, successful leadership transcends geographic boundaries, and leaders often draw inspiration from global best practices and diverse experiences. Dr. Mobereola’s international exposure and experience in the private sector provide him with a broad perspective on global trends, regulatory frameworks, and industry standards.

Numerous examples exist of leaders who have excelled in industries outside their area of expertise, demonstrating the power of visionary leadership, adaptability, and continuous learning. Dr. Mobereola’s appointment represents an opportunity to leverage his diverse expertise, leadership acumen, and commitment to excellence to drive positive change and foster the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime industry.

In conclusion, the time has come for all to adopt the principle of objectivity and not allow sentiments overshadow the leadership qualities, strategic vision, and collaborative skills Dr. Mobereola’s appointment represents which will ultimately contribute to the advancement of the Nigerian maritime sector and the nation’s economic development.

Prince Segun Obayendo is the Group Managing Director, Temple Group Limited

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