By Wilfred Eya
Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George has an enviable resume. He is a retired officer of the Nigerian Navy, former military governor, former Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, one time National Vice Chairman, South West zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Deputy National Chairman, South of the party.
Born on November 21, 1945 in Lagos, George attended the University of Lagos, where he earned both B.Sc and MBA degrees. He became a Commodore in the Nigerian Navy and served as military Governor of Ondo State between 1988 and 1990. In 1993, he was appointed Principal Staff Officer to then Chief of General Staff, General Oladipo Diya, and served in that capacity till 1997. He also served as a Director at the Nigerian National War College (NWC).
In 1999, George was appointed Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) where he introduced some reforms in the running of the agency. In February 2001, while visiting the Delta ports, he called for increased security and also emphasized the problem of delays in payment of large sums of money owed to the port authority by organisations such as the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, Nigerian National Shipping Line, Delta Steel Company and Central Water Transport Company.
In April 2001, George identified delays in the clearance of goods as one of the causes of port congestion. And in May, the same year, he called for the construction of new dry ports and warehouses to tackle congestion. In September, he directed that all empty containers should be moved out of the Lagos seaports to free up space. The NPA under him, no doubt witnessed a lot of progress and reforms.