Mr. Bosun Agoro is a Maritime business guru. He is aspiring for the Mainland Constituency 11  seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly. In this interview, he spoke on his vision, how to  attract investors through his knowledge of the Maritime industry and other national issues

Can you give us a brief background about yourself?
I am from Lagos, a Business Study graduate. I currently work in the Maritime Security  andCement Industry. I sit on  board of several companies. My hubbies are meeting people,  travelling and I like to keep abreast of current affairs. I am a businessman and a  visionary. I was born in Liverpool in the United Kingdom but I grew up here, I am from Lagos  Island; I am from Isale Eko, I come from the Ojon Chieftaincy family of Lagos. I am from a  maritime family, my father was a maritime guru; my mother is from Ekiti State while my  father is from Lagos State. My grandfather was a ship builder in the olden days at  Ebute-Ero.

Why did you decide to contest the Mainland Constituency II seat in the Lagos State House of  Assembly in 2011?
My desire to contest the State House of Assembly was borne out of the need to contribute to  the development of the state. Having worked within an industry that is so unique, it became  evident that legislations are the only way that could bring about certain progression. Not  that the people in the legislative House are not working; not that the people in government  are not working, there is need for continuous development and for you to have a continuous  development, you continue to inject new blood into the system. Don’t forget that we have  Cabotage law; where is the government coming into play? It is not their fault; NIMASA is  there and it is sending hundreds of people, 600 precisely, to go and train in the Maritime  industry.
The Niger Delta Region too; they are all looking to take away their youth into the Maritime  industry in order to get employment. I was fortunate because I attended a programme in Ghana  with the World Maritime team in conjunction with the Maritime Authority in Ghana and I was  fortunate to rub minds with people from different parts of Africa on issues about Seafarers  as we call them. There is a shortage of seafarers because if you look at the Cabotage law,  it is to protect indigenous participation but you must have the required qualification; the  required experience to work in the industry.Maritime is international and is not regulated  by Nigeria. Therefore, if we do not have the basic qualifications and requirements, then how  can we say we want to participate? I have a vision. I feel that I can contribute to the  development of my community and my society where I live.

How do you want to impact your community?
Fortunately, in my community, we have a riverine area. In places like Makoko, Iwaya, we are  facing problem; if you look at those areas, there are lots of unemployed youths. It is not  about money alone; money has a part to play but you must lay the necessary foundation for  you to be able to move forward and in order for you to entice people that will provide  funds, you need to have the basic infrastructure. So, the intention is that by the time one  is at the House of Assembly, the bills that one will propagate will be in line with that and  it is possible that within four years, we may not be able to achieve what we want. But we  have started a foundation that will elevate the thinking of the people so that they can  benefit. It pains my heart when I see that in the Maritime industry, I look at our location,  Lagos is surrounded by water, yet, how many people, with the population, how many of the  youths know really what Maritime industry is about? It can create lots of employment but  they need the basic education. Sometime ego, I approached the Executive Governor of Lagos,  in conjunction with a friend from Ghana who happened to be a rector in the Regional Maritime  University for him to think of setting up a Maritime Academy, Maritime Institution to  empower these youths. It has an economic effect. If you look at the far East, countries like  Indonesia, Malaysia, they export their manpower in the Maritime industry and that is what  they live on; that is their biggest export, which is the labour. S

What are your visions for Lagos Mainland Constituency II?
My vision is empowerment; I am not a money politician.

Makoko has been a slum for decades, how do you think you can tackle this?
First of all, Makoko being a slum is borne out of the fact that the people do not have  befitting accommodation. It is unfortunate that we have not been in partnership, if we had  been, the development of that area would have had stages, where government and the private  participants would have seen the progression level. These are man-made problems; the  intention is to provide something that will empower them in order to make the place a  wealthy community. There are lots of fishing activities going on there; a lot of trade going  on but it is not regulated. However, there is no regeneration or succession planning; it is  not the fault of government and it is not the fault of the people; it is just the way the  system is. Our own intention is that we should be able to give a vision. The vision may not  be in our time; I hate to feel that people think we need a magic solution. There is no magic  solution anywhere, and the intention is for us to develop; but like they say, anything with  good foundation has a good ending.

Do you have faith in Prof  Attahiru Jega’s INEC to conduct a free and fair election next  year?
It is the choice of the people; they will determine that. Jega is just one human being in  the midst of so many other facets which are controlling the system, so the issue of having a  free and fair election, I believe that if it is properly handled, properly managed, there  will be free and fair election, but that will be at the instance of the people. You know,  one million people are stronger than 5,000 people.

What do you think are your chances of winning?
I don’t have any fear about incumbency because I have a plan and vision already in place;  the whole saying is that if you don’t plan, you plan to fail but if you plan, you plan to  win. So that is where I stand.

Can you unfold your agenda to us?
My agenda is simple; if you look at my posters and everything, I said I am committed to  serve and I think that explains where I am going and what my vision is. It may be possible  that other members of the Assembly have the same vision that I have, which makes it easier;  the reality is that this change has come, it is for the people to embrace it and for us to  take the state to the next level.

How do you think we can curb this cash-and-carry politics?
I think it is the people’s choice, they will determine that; you can see how the Action  Congress of Nigeria, ACN has transformed Lagos State; from the inception of AD to AC and to  ACN and I am sure the people are seeing it. That is why the other parties can’t do anything,  the performance is an intimidating one. It is intimidating in the sense that it is the  people that are choosing; they are deciding where they want to belong and they are already  saying it before the election.

Has Fashola performed well?
Off course, he has performed. Don’t forget it is not a one man show; the party is behind him  to ensure that he performed well. It is a team effort, I don’t believe that Fashola is the  only one doing the whole thing because if he did not have the right team in place, he can’t  do much, an individual cannot change the state.

What do you think are the chances of ACN in Lagos?
I don’t think there is any rival; Fashola’s performance is there. It is the style of  governance that is speaking; you can see that the other parties are indirectly supporting  the government of the day. There is no point investing in an area that you know the progress  is already there and is still going at the right pace. This government as far as I am  concerned is very progressive and as long as it is progressing, it is the people that will  continue to shout praises; this is not propaganda, it is the reality on ground.

What advice do you have for Lagosians?
They should be steadfast; they should allow the system that is in place to continue. Where  changes must occur, it must be the people deciding it. Lagosians have a good system in  place. We are not violent people, this is a peaceful environment; my prayer is that the  coming election is also peaceful. It had been peaceful in the past and we should maintain  that peacefulness to achieve our aim.

What is your opinion about Tinubu?
Tinubu is a great leader and a visionary. Tinubu has not derailed; he has been upright in  his decision making. I pray that he has long life and continue to show interest in the  system.