New CELTRAS Board Chairman, Dakuku, Pledges To Actualise Mandate

Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has assured the authorities of the University of Port Harcourt that he and members of the newly constituted Board of the Centre for Logistics and Transport Studies (CELTRAS), would work hard to actualise the core mandate of the Centre.
Dr. Peterside made the pledge while speaking as Chairman of the new Board of CELTRAS shortly after it was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale at the Governing Council Chambers inside the Senate Building, University Park, last Monday.
“I want to, on behalf of other members of the new Board, make a public commitment that we will give our time, resources and connections to ensure that by the time we complete our assignment, the Centre for Logistics and Transport Studies will become a reference point on the African continent and beyond. We will be alive to our responsibilities to actualise the vision of the founding fathers of the Centre. We will also do all that is within our powers to attract funding for research and development, because no true academic Centre can survive without quality research. Let me assure the University Management that the members of the new Board will serve as critical links between what the industry needs and what the Centre provides and you can be sure that we will not fail the University and the other stakeholders,” the Board Chairman told the Vice-Chancellor.
The Director-General of NIMASA, who described Logistics and Transport as an enabler that bridges the gap between sites of production to locations where consumers assess goods and services, congratulated the University of Port Harcourt for establishing a Centre to expand knowledge in such a critical area that would advance social development.
Speaking earlier on a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Peterside, who obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the 30th Convocation Ceremony of the University, wished the Vice-Chancellor well in office. He urged Professor Lale to do his best to transform the University, reminding him that his implacable critics would not see the areas he was doing well. He said that such people would rather condemn and judge him on any perceived weakness.
In his speech before inaugurating the new Board, the Vice-Chancellor commended the Chairman and other members for accepting to serve the University on the Board of CELTRAS. He disclosed that the Centre would continue to focus attention on the transport sector, which he described as a critical sector in the development of the nation's economy.
“We have big dreams with limited resources. We are aware that transportation and all the logistics that go with it involve some elements of disaster risks which is the domain of the Centre for Disaster and Risk Management in this University. I believe that this Centre will rejig the whole transportation sector in the country. It should be one of the centres, if not the only one with the vision of advancing the transport sector in the country,” the Vice-Chancellor said. He joined the NIMASA Director-General to shower praises on the pioneer Director of the Centre, Professor Osi Akpoghomeh, for laying a good foundation for the Centre.
In her address, Acting Centre Director, Dr. Gladys Emenike, enumerated the objectives of the Centre to include providing opportunity for in-service training for staff and organisations involved in Logistics and Transport issues and assisting in the development and improvement of Logistics and Transport sector through research.
The Centre, according to her, also provides students with solid intellectual, theoretical, methodological foundations and skills to work efficiently in varied Logistics and Transport Planning and Management positions in the public and private sectors, as well as running postgraduate courses in the sector.
“The Centre established in 2012, is one of the foremost institutions of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Transport Management in Nigeria. The relevance of the programme is in its ability to combine logistics requirements and transport demands – two critical specialisations that pivot any thriving economy,” the Acting Director further disclosed. Dr. Emenike also revealed that the inauguration witnessed the third Governing Board Meeting of the Centre.
Other members of the Board are: Ibrahim Jibril, Mrs. Lizzy Ovbude, Dr. Austine Odili, Dr. Kayode Olagunju, Messrs Solomon Ishaya, Aminu Yusuf, Ekpenyong Eke, Enoch Antioch, Professors Henry Alapiki, Anthonia Okerengwo and Kinikanwo Anele and the Acting Director of the Centre, Dr. Gladys Emenike.
Dr. Peterside is the second Chairman of the Board after the tenure of his predecessor at NIMASA, Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi. 
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