Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has once again indicated that the present regime was not thinking properly, advising President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabinet to “think out of the box.”
Obasanjo at a two-day stakeholders’ conference on the maritime industry in Lagos on Monday, said it was an ill-advised move by the federal government in resuscitating the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL).
According to the former president, the demise of NNSL was as a result of lack of professionalism and high level corruption, criticising the alleged impunity in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
“NNSL had been liquidated, they tried Nigeria Unity Line and it collapsed. 19 brand new ships were specially built for Nigeria, we did not take delivery of some of them until I left office in 1979.
“The current government should think out of the box and come up with what should be done to grow the maritime industry.
“When I came back in 1999, NNSL had been liquidated with all the 19 ships gone as well as the five ships in existence.
“Two of the ships were missing for almost two years and it was discovered that one military man was using them all over the world and no accountability.
“Until NIMASA became a source where people steal money, nobody knew too much about it. Before we tried to privatise Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), I went to Singapore where you get your container within one hour of arriving the port.
“If we cannot perform like Singapore, we have to do better than what we are doing now.”