The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has conluded plans to immortalise the late maritime icon, Otunba Kunle Folarin by naming one of its newly-acquired vessels after him.
The Director-General NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, made this known in Lagos on Thursday during a one-day colloquium held in honour of the late maritime economist.
Jamoh who described Folarin as a selfless service man, who was not given to acquiring wealth, explained that NIMASA just acquired three vessels and would be naming one of the vessels after him.
He described the Folarin as a maritime encyclopedia who was willing and ready at any time to help the maritime sector irrespective of the situation.
During goodwill messages, maritime stakeholders at the colloquium encouraged the organisers to make the event an annual one in honour of the late maritime icon.
Speaking, the Chairman of the colloquium, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, described Folarin as a core professional, polished, dignified and a well-learned man who he had known for over 50 years.
He said Folarin had left a big shoe that would take time for the industry stakeholders to fit in.
“I commend the maritime media for recognising his position and his role in the industry via the event held in his honour,” he said.
Also pouring encomium on the late maritime icon, an Oil and Gas Magnate, Mr Chris Asoluka, described him as a friend who was always there for the shipping community.
“The late Folarin wasn’t there for the money but to give support to the shipping industry,” Asoluka said.
Also contributing, Chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi described him as an asset to the industry whose contributions would be greatly missed.
Also, a Ship Owner and President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr Mkgeorge Onyung described Folarin as a book man and resourceful personality.
“Otunba Folarin was a great man and the industry is going to miss him a lot. He was a book man and he will be greatly missed.
“There is need for an annual event in his memorial,” he said.
A former President of Nigeria Indigenous Ship Owners Association (NISA), Alhaji Aminu Umar, described the late maritime icon as a resourceful person, describing his contributions as timely and apt.
Also contributing, a member of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hajia Bola Muse, described him as a father figure who at every time made her believed the maritime sector was a place to be.
Also lending her voice to who the late maritime icon was to her, the President of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs Chimezie Azubuike, stated that Folarin charted a very good course for the industry stakeholders to navigate through.
Earlier, one of the organisers of the event, Mr Sesan Onileimo, said they decided to host this colloquium in honour of someone (Folarin) who interacted beautifully with the maritime media.
“From the youngest to the older journalists, we were all beneficiaries of Otunba Kunle Folarin’s wisdom.
“CVFF disbursement is one of the key issues at the moment in the industry and one that touches the heart of Otunba, when he was alive and that is why we decided to focus this colloquium on that.
“He was a resourceful person per excellence and we hope that this becomes an annual event in his honour,” he said.
In a goodwill message, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, a former President of the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) and Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, said aside from immortalising Folarin, his works should be compiled into a book for present and future maritime professionals to tap from.
“Folarin left indelible marks in the Port Consultative Council, Seafarers Welfare Board and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)nan.’