The Executive Secretary / Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Shippers’ Council Barr Hassan Bello, has officially bowed out of office on Friday 18th June.
Hassan Bello who has spent two consecutive term of four years each as the Council CEO, joined the Nigerian Shippers Council in 1998 as Deputy Director and Head of Legal Services and later became a Director in the same department, a position he held for many years before he became the Executive Secretary where he served for eight years.
A sent forth ceremony was held to honor him at the EKO Hotel and Suits, Victoria Island , Lagos for his outstanding performance and deligent to work.
The ceremony which was organized by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as the Servicom / Long service award was also put in place to honour outstanding staffs of the Council who has performed really well within the last 15, 20 and ,30 years.
While speaking at the ceremony, the honorable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi described Hassan Bello as a fine gentle man who is humble and dedicated to duty.
He said that his exit is a bit emotional to him and his family as Bello is known as a goal getter who always avoid troubles.
Speaking on state of the road, Amaechi argued that the Tin Can Island Port and Apapa premier port do not really need rehabilitation as being canvassed by maritime stakeholders, rather, he said the terminal operators lack efficiency and this is the bane of automation and ease of doing business.
He expressed shock that during the recent visit of President to Lagos for commissioning of the Deep Blue Assets alongside other project on 10th of June, the notorious Apapa gridlock miraculously disappeared.
He said that this is an indication that the port system can work if there is efficiency on the part of the operators.
According to the minister “I don’t think the ports in Lagos really need rehabilitation, the ports need us to review them and install new infrastructures and facilities that would result into automation, it is not really a one day thing”
“I have had a meeting with the stakeholders last week and I told them that for any terminal to renew their tenancy, then they must bring it to the table, we are looking at the Apapa and Tin Can Island seaport in the next few months to see how we can get them digitalised so that they can function efficiently”
“If you observe that during the visit of the President, everywhere was clean, all the vehicles disappeared and there was no gridlock anymore, this means that there is lack of efficiency” he quipped. Q
Chairman Governing Board of the Council, Bashir Sheriff Machim commended Hassan Bello for the completion of Kaduna Inland Dry Port; Dala Dry Port and construction of Ibadan Dry Port; creation of zonal offices for the council; and establishment of Truck Transit Parks in strategic locations across the country, among others.
The chairman, who was represented by Otunba Seyi Odutona, appreciated Bello for earning the Council the port economic regulator status.
On her part, the Chairman of Nigerian Shipowners Forum and a member of the Council’s Governing Board, Barr Margret Orakwusi, described Bello’s tenure as “the eight shortest years in NSC”, saying, “the eight years is better described as eight minutes”.
She said Bello is humble, honest with integrity, “He called us all out even when everyone was afraid of COVID-19. He has done very well. We love him, and the entire management of NSC will miss him,”
Former Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Adebayo Sarumi, described Bello as “right peg in the right hole”.
He said: “I call him Mr. Intermodalism. He was able to bring the shipping service and the providers of shipping service to a level playing ground” he said
Former President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said Hassan Bello was successful in his pursuit due to his determination for maritime sector development, despite his career in law.
He said: “Bello is successful. He never had a scandal during his period at the helms of affairs of NSC”.
In his goodwill message, Dr Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA DG noted that Bello signified cost effectiveness, efficiency, and working according to international best practices.
He noted that as regards fighting corruption at the ports, Bello stood his ground and proffer means to contain the monster.
“The subject matter today is Hassan Bello and what he has achieved for the past eight years as the executive secretary of NSC.
“He is known for his doggedness in solving issues, in the aspect of gridlock, trade expansion, national fleet issues and others and for every area, you can write a chapter of book on his contribution to the industry,” he said.
While responding, Barr Hassan Bello appreciated all the stakeholders who have come out to honor him, he described their comments as liberal and generous.
He commended the staff of the Council, describing them as the best staff to work with, making it the major reason for his successful tenure. He commended the administration of the Ministry of Transportation under Rotimi Amaechi, the Permanent Secretary and the Directors.
He described the Council as the most stakeholders sensitive institution in Nigeria.
He added that there is lack of accord and synergy among maritime agencies as some agencies try to lord themselves above the other by always defending territories.
“All the agencies have to operate on the basis of equality, there is no agency that is better than the other, everyone of us have a role to play, agencies are not graded by their budget, but it is very unfortunate that some agencies think that maritime starts and ends with them”
“Some agencies are busy defending territories, they spend so much money defending these territories and they neglect what they are set up to do, this is why we have a problem” he said
He said the Council is now involved in the concession agreement being signed by the terminal operators, a situation which the former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman sidelined the Council in the past.
Bello said if the Council’s advise had been adhered to by the NPA, there wouldn’t have been any traffic gridlock in Apapa at all.
“Nigerian Shippers Council is the lead agency of the port manual apart from being the port economic regulator, this is because of its neutralism and professionalism”
“We cannot have any agency lording over us, an agency is as good as its relationship with its Ministry, you cannot be above your ministry” he said
Meanwhile, the 2020 SERVICOM awards were given to twelve drivers for their contribution towards the Covid lockdown, 66 staff got the Notable Staff of the Year award, Outstanding Zonal Office award went to Abuja office.
Others are, Outstanding Independent Unit award which went to Public Relations Unit, Outstanding Department went to Finance and Account, Outstanding Staff of the Year went to ten staff of the council
For the Long Service Award, for the 15-years, 66 persons were in that category; for 20-years, 93 persons were in the category; 25-years had 66 persons and 30-years had 31 persons.
Also present at the ceremony was the nobel laurel Prof Wole Soyinka, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi of FRSC, former MD NPA Chief Adebayo Sarumi, Former president of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu amongst others.
Barr Hassan Bello was a legal practitioner prior to joining the Council, he worked with the Sokoto State Ministry of Justice and the state’s Investment Company Limited, where he rose to become Acting Managing Director & CEO.