The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and other major players in the maritime industry have expressed their confidence in the ability of the Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki, to reposition the transport sector, in particular sea and rail transport.
Saraki took over as head of the Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT) last month after some cabinet ministers of President Muhammadu Buhari resigned to run for office.
“She’s a technocrat. She understands the transportation industry very well, including the rail and shipping industries. When she served as chair of the Senate Shipping Committee during her years in the upper legislative house from 2003 to 2011, she has shown very good knowledge of the industry It was during her tenure that important development bills such as the Coasting Trade Act, Freight Forwarding Regulatory Board in Nigeria (CRFFN) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Acts were passed.
“She is an excellent administrator in every way and we are delighted with her performance. She is the kind of leader the maritime industry needs at this critical time,” said Godwin Onyekazi, President of the Nigerian Importers Integrity Association (NIIA).
Furthermore, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) said that Senator Gbemi Saraki will have the full support of the union in her task as the new head of the Federal Ministry of Transport.
Union spokeswoman Comrade Oniha Erazua said the union had a cordial working relationship with Saraki and expressed confidence that she will remain a pro-worker minister.
“As a union, I know that my General President, Comrade Prince Adeyanju Adewale, has a good working relationship with the Ministry of Transport because fundamentally without them our members and the companies we work for will not function.
“Senator Gbemi Saraki did wonderfully well. There have been many instances of her wading through and intervening in situations that literally turned into a crisis. She is expected to continue playing the role of a mother and a very beautiful technocrat in the Ministry of Transport.
“The union is very firmly with her. We want to reiterate our support and that our doors are open at all times to ensure the growth of the transport sector,” he said.
Some Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) workers have also expressed confidence in the minister’s ability to drive forward President Muhammadu Buhari’s ongoing railway reforms.
A senior NRC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not officially authorized to speak to the press, said Senator Gbemi Saraki had so far been “the engine of progress made in the railway sector by the Buhari administration. .
“She was very calm. Because she doesn’t put herself forward in the media, many people didn’t understand the role she played in the railroad. She is the thinker and strategist of the ministry. She did her job quietly without a fuss while others gained media fame. Now that she is fully in charge of the ministry, people will see the caliber of which she is made. I am confident that the challenges facing the railways will be quickly resolved by it and I am sure that the pending railway projects will be completed quickly,” he said.
A graduate in economics from the prestigious University of Sussex, UK, Senator Saraki has been named one of the hardest-working ministers in the current government. She is renowned for her impressive work ethic and passion for development issues.
Having served several times as a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 and as a Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District from 2003 to 2011, Saraki became the top female legislator in Nigeria, with the highest number of Bills introduced and passed. in law by any woman in Nigeria’s political history.
In the House of Representatives, she was an active member of several House committees, including the Transportation Committees, Aviation Committee, Navy Committee, Privatization Committee, and Special Tasks Committee.
When she became a senator, she served as chair of the Senate Shipping Committee where she pushed through several bills that became law to foster the development of the shipping industry. She has also served as chair of the Senate National Planning Committee on several occasions; Commission for the fight against poverty and economic affairs; and the Senate Anti-Corruption Committee. She has also served on several other Senate committees, including Foreign Affairs, Media and Publicity, Women’s Affairs and Youth Development, Environment and Ecology; and public accounts, among others. By the end of her term in the upper legislative chamber, she had sponsored 13 legislative bills, making her one of the most active senators in the country.
Prior to his appointment as Minister of State for Transport by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2019; Saraki served as Pro-Chancellor and President of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, where she discharged her duties in an honorable manner to the admiration of the academic community.