By Ray Ugochukwu
The Institute of Transport and Management Technology (ITMT) has given reasons for its choice of Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam, the Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), as the third recipient of its highest award.
Dr. Aniebonam was conferred with the Grand Fellowship of ITMT last Thursday at the Rockview Hotel in Apapa, Lagos, being the third Nigerian to be so honoured after Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni and Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service.
According to the Rector of the institute, Dr. (Mrs.) Lilian Chibor, Aniebonam’s enormous contribution to the country’s maritime industry, among other qualities, had placed him above his peers for the honour.
“We are celebrating an icon, a super brand, a brilliant, energetic, fearless and vocal personality, someone who always stands for the truth no matter whose ox is gored”, the Registrar had said at the ceremony attended by industry bigwigs.
Chibor had earlier pointed out that “The institute singled out Dr. Aniebonam for this conferment as a result his enormous contribution to the growth and development of maritime industry in Nigeria. You cannot talk about maritime industry and trade facilitation in Nigeria without mentioning Dr. Aniebonam. NAGAFF as far as I know is the first freight forwarding association, and has made tremendous impact in maritime business in Nigeria, having thousands of members across the country”.
She however thanked the executives and members of NAGAFF for their cooperation within the period of award planning and assured them that the relationship that had been established would be a lasting one.
Highlights of the event was the decoration of Dr. Aniebonam and presentation of a plaque and certificate to him by the Rector, Dr. Chibor, goodwill messages from friends and well-wishers as well as group photographs with different groups at the event.
In his response, Dr. Aniebonam, who also doubles as the National Chairman, New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), thanked the institute for the honour done him and by extension, the entire NAGAFF family. He observed that one of the basic intentions of NAGAFF was to build capacity and to ensure that the raw materials inherent in the port industry were given adequate attention through formal training.
He noted that the institute was founded to assist freight forwarders in modeling professionalism, meaning that people would go through formal training and be certified by an approved body like the ITMT and with code of ethical standard, one can now be proud as a professional.
It was encomiums galore for Dr. Aniebonam from friends, his colleagues, media representatives, shipping firms, family, staff, sister associations, among others, with all chorusing his unrivalled philanthropy and good naturedness.
The Institute of Transport and Management Technology was established in 1984 by late Dr. Victor Chibor. It got approval from the Federal Ministry of Education, National Board of for Technical Education (NBTE), the Federal Ministry of Transport and Aviation. The institute, domiciled in the Badagry area of Lagos State, is enlisted in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as one of the Innovation Enterprise Institutes (IEI) and has graduated over 10,000 people.