BY OLUWAKEMI DAUDA
The General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Chief Michael Kayode Ajayi, has bowed out of office after reaching the mandatory 60 years.
Ajayi retired in a blaze of glory, because of his high level of commitment and dedication to duty. He was said to be a detribalised Nigerian, which endeared him to all that worked with him. A farewell ceremony organised in his honour in Lagos, last week, spoke volumes of his virtues.
The event was attended by the NPA’s Managing Director, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, the Executive Director, Finance Mohammed Bello-Koko and other top officials of the authority.
The management and staff said they would have loved him to continue because of his dedication to duty, deep knowledge of administration and his enviable human relations.
The General Manager, Monitoring and Enforcement (M&E), Western Ports, Capt. Ebubeogu Ihenacho, said he was not happy to announce Ajayi’s retirement.
Remarks from top officials of NPA showed Ajayi as a man that used his position to promote career excellence among the staff and brought to the front burner issues relating to their welfare.
In her remark, the Managing Director said she had a very good working relationship with him and happy over his disposition to work.
“During the period we were together, we had a very robust working relationship and very robust interaction.
“What is important is that he has been able to discuss openly with me issues on what we need to do to move the authority forward.
“He makes his suggestions very clear and he has been very candid in conveying some of his messages and I appreciate him for that.
“Over the period, I have also learnt to listen to his advice as regards the challenges facing the public affairs because the media turns positive and negative against us. He has been there to guide and assist. I appreciate the contributions he has brought to the public affairs.
“As Ajayi would be going, I will always call on him to provide support. I will always call on him to provide guidance and I think he will always be part of us in the Public Affairs and in the authority,” the NPA chief said.
Families, friends and other officials at the event spoke well of Ajayi.
Ajayi told The Nation that as a GM for 10 years, “I tried to focus on letting the staff do what they were paid to do. I put a lot of trust in them, and tutored them on selfless service to NPA and the nation.’’
Ajayi spent 24 years with the NPA working in various capacities.