By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
According to one of the foremost Philosophers, John C. Maxwell, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”. While to Stephen Covey, ” Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out”.
It is on the thinking of these two great minds that I will like to examine the stand, leadership strategy and vision of a young man who have stood against all odds to distinguish himself as one of the beacons and hope of our great nation Nigeria as he celebrators his 49 years of sojourn on this planet on Tuesday, 31st December, 2019.
Dr Dakuku Peterside, the energetic Director-General of Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the APC Governorship Candidate in Rivers State in the 2015 elections and currently President, Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) has truly established himself at this young age as an icon, an enigma, a study in resoluteness, benevolence, audacity, resourcefulness, a consummate administrator, a humanist, creativity and has easily positioned himself as one of the new faces of Nigerian politics and most importantly an emerging force in the global Maritime Industry particularly in Africa,
Dakuku who wears humility and loyalty as a cloth is one of the finest disciples from the political family of Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and one of the emerging powers in the Nigerian politics and the first Nigerian to be elected by 34 countries as the President, Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA).
An Astute and charismatic politician, a seasoned and consummate administrator with an amiable personality, a phenomenal reformist whose cult-followership stature particularly among the youths that puts him as a leader to be admired, watched and associated with.
The leadership quality of this resolute revolutionary and visionary democrat is reflected in the words of many outstanding great leaders, such as: Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian General and military theorist, who stated: “If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them, in spite of all obstacles.” One-time President of the USA, George W. Bush: “Leadership, to me, means duty, honour and country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.”
Academic and professional laurels
Dr Dakuku Peterside is an alumnus of Okrika Grammer School (OGS), University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, University of Port Harcourt, Georgia State University Atlanta, and Harvard-Kennedy School, University of Harvard. He earned degrees in Medical Laboratory Sciences (Haematology), Business Administration (Management) and certificates in Leadership and Project Management respectively. He has attended several oil and gas courses globally. He is a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), fellow of Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria (IMCN) and member, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences of Nigeria.
DAKUKU AND PUBLIC SERVICE
He started his public political life principally when he was appointed Commissioner of Works under the administration of erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and incumbent Federal Minister of Transportation, Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, from 2007 to 2011, where he (Peterside) excelled, redefined and created most of the major roads, flyovers and bridges in Rivers State. Since he left office in 2011, Rivers State is yet to get a reputable replacement for that office till date. This was a man who used midnight for the supervision of most of the key projects under his watch.
A former House of Representatives member and past governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Peterside has demonstrated a sterling leadership quality that is by today acknowledged by the world and African leaders to warrant his elevation as Africa’s No. 1 Maritime Administrator. He has proved that his appointment by President Buhari, based on the recommendation of Amaechi, was in order. He has by this feat proved that the Rivers State spirit is in him, by positioning himself as one of the new revelations in the leadership circle in Nigeria. I can now agree with our amiable President Buhari, who spoke through Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo – during the unveiling of the new symbol of NIMASA – that Peterside has made Nigeria proud, by regenerating NIMASA and making it a centre of excellence for other countries to emulate.
Dr. Peterside from his early years in politics to date has remained focused and unwavering in his determination to provide service to ordinary Nigerians as a politician whether in the Nigerian lower legislative chamber where he earned a reputation as a progressive and broad minded legislator whose views were always respected or in his present position as D-G, NIMASA where he brings in words and actions, integrity, panache, compassion and intellectual dimension to bear in tackling tough issues of the agency..
Peterside has been a most sought-after resource person in international conference: he was a major speaker at the 2013 Middle East Downstream Week held in Abu Dhabi in May, 2013 and the 2013 World Refining and Petrochemical Technology Summit in Doha, Qatar, among many other speaking engagements around the globe. I have no doubt in my mind that he will excel on his new assignment as the NIMASA Director General,”
Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside has pursued his vision with audacity and strength of will to somersault all obstacles to become Africa’s number one Maritime Administrator.
President Muhammadu Buhari captured the mood and minds of most Nigerians in his remarks about this enigma of a leader when he stated: “Peterside’s unanimous election is not only a personal honour and affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA, but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.”
DAKUKU, HIS STRONG CHARACTER AND POLITICAL NATURE:
Before, I go further on this treatise, it becomes expedient at this juncture to bring in Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi the undisputable leader and creator of Rivers State modern politics that knew Dr. Peterside in and out to give us an insight who this enigma from Rivers State and one of the most outstanding products of his brand of politics is truly is, “DAP as he is popularly known is an epitome of good governance and great character, evident in his leadership style. The fact that the Management of NIMASA has been able to reduce running cost by over 50% and significantly improve revenue generation and remittance for the Federal Government is mainly due to the reliable and transparent disposition of the current management team of the Agency, which is driven and spurred by Dr. Dakuku Peterside. “By their character, we shall know them.
Dakuku is faithful to friends and friendship and wears loyalty as a Royal robe and in this regard his mentor and boss Amaechi went further to explain that, “I remember when I was told that Dakuku will be a sell-out when we were vying for governorship under Dr. Peter Odili. Today, he is the only one remaining among those I can call my political allies. NIMASA has reduced running cost significantly and improved revenue generation to the Federal Government simply because the man, Dakuku, is not corrupt. He is not greedy, and he is a content fellow. He is a transparent character and fits perfectly well within the common agenda of the current national government.”
While in his recent positive assessment of Dakuku’s performance, the Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, described Dakuku Petetside as a vibrant young man who has brought a lot of reforms to the maritime industry” as spot on.
He has lived out the thinking of John C. Maxwell by demonstrating that he is a leader who not only know the way but goes the way and shows the way.
WHAT RIVERS STATE LOST IN DAKUKU
Peterside as of today stands out as the pride of Rivers State and one of the most articulated and educated political leader from the State, an extraordinary and innovative administrator which absence form the governance of the State have resulted to the present catastrophic and sorrow state of Rivers State. The Rivers State loss of this ingenious man is the gain of Nigeria and Africa as he has proved that he has the Midas-touch that can change the fortunes of any Organisation or assignment he gets himself involved.
The fact remains that I have monitored the politics of Dr. Dakuku Adol. Peterside right from his days as the Commissioner of Works of Rivers State under the watch of Rt. Hon. Dr. Amaechi from 2007 till date. He was the APC Governorship Candidate in Rivers State in the 2015 elections and stands out as one of the best representatives of the Niger Delta region in contemporary Nigerian politics.
it is regrettable that political conspiracy and prevalent electoral malpractices, as witnessed in 2015 had robbed Rivers State of being led by such a young, vibrant and visionary leader as Peterside, which has led to the misrule and retrogression of positive development, currently being witnessed in the state that are the fruits the elite and political conspiracy that robbed Peterside and the APC of their mandate in the State in 2015.
DAKUKU AND NIMASA
Since Dakuku’s appointment as Director-General of NIMASA in March 2016, a lot of reforms have been initiated, including the new Cabotage Compliance Strategy, which has created more employment for Nigerians in the maritime sector and significantly grown the maritime sector’s contribution to both the Federation Account and the Gross Domestic Production (GDP).
As a tested and trusted reformist-minded administrator, who has all it takes to reform and transform NIMASA into the pride of Nigeria and Africa, Peterside has proven that his appointment was not misplaced.
He has turnaround and his re-engineering strategies and efforts in NIMASA have given a facelift to not only just the Agency but the maritime sector- With NIMASA now attracting commendation from the Federal government, through the Minister of Finance and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as the highest revenue remitting Agency in Nigeria
“For turning around the fortunes of the Nigeria’s maritime sector, to increase its contribution to the economy, Dr Dakuku has justified his appointment as Director-General of NIMASA and one of the most skillful and opportune decisions by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in its drive to revolutionise the maritime industry.
“Under the watch of this reformer and revolutionist, NIMASA, with its record-breaking income generation into Nigeria’s coffers, received presidential commendation and dusted other similar agencies to top the chart on Port and Flag State Control in the West and Central African sub-regions. The maritime regulatory agency outranked other maritime regulators in the region, in the inspection of vessels calling at Nigerian ports, according to the latest report by the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control for West and Central African Region, otherwise known as Abuja MoU.
All these were part of the fruits of recent reforms initiated by the agency and deliberate investment in enforcement equipment. The fact remains that the management team of NIMASA is conscious of global best practices and is determined to rid our waterways of all substandard vessels, with the ultimate aim of ensuring a safe and robust maritime domain. This afforded the agency the capacity to be a competitive player in the global maritime space, giving her an edge in the comity of maritime investment destinations.
Dr. Peterside and his team need to be commended and congratulated for following the international requirement for countries by inspecting and surveying over 600 vessels calling at Nigerian ports, describing the fear as “an unprecedented feat, showing the country is alive to its port state and flag state responsibilities. The increased inspection and survey has ensured that substandard vessels no longer call at Nigerian ports. It has improved safety on Nigerian waters and led to a reduction of vessels with deficiency from 18.99 % in 2015 to barely 14 % in 2018.
“NIMASA has, since the last three years, engaged in deliberate efforts to protect the country’s maritime assets and environment by building up response capabilities under the Deep Blue Sea project. The Agency has acquired special mission aircraft, special mission telecommunications gadgets, and 17 interceptor special mission vessels. It has also, in conjunction with the country’s security services, set up a Command and Control Centre, with a complement of armoured vehicles to patrol littoral states, and a standing military force to deal with criminal activities at sea”, .
Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside is a true reflection of what audacity, resoluteness, resourcefulness and creativity are all about no matter the field he decides to work upon or the odds. I wish to say without fear of contradiction that Peterside is a symbol of unity, a visionary, egalitarian and, most importantly, a great patriot whose love for Nigeria and Nigerians is infectious.
Here is a man who is reputed as a charming, charismatic and disciplined leader; creative and hard-working, a broad-minded fellow with strategic insight. He brings integrity, creativity, compassion, and intellectual dimension to bear in tackling tough political and administrative issues. He is truly a bridge-builder and loyal to friendship. He boasts credible credentials as a renowned resource person on petroleum matters, leadership/management expert, motivational speaker and a respected authority on corporate political strategy and private-public interaction in Nigeria.
As he celebrates his 49th birthday, I wish this great, a resolute revolutionary, exceptional visionary and democrat the best in all his future endeavours.
Happy birthday my brother, friend and leader and may our great God not only bless your new age but grant you more fruitful years for better services to humanity.
Chief Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org and 08022049770.